Coal supply to power sector up by 21 MT during April-August period: Govt

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The coal ministry dismissed reports of a coal shortage in the thermal power sector and said that supply to the power sector was up by 21 million tonnes during the April-August period this year.

“Despatch of coal from Coal India Limited (CIL) to the power sector during April to August 2018 increased to 186.92 million tonnes (MT) registering a growth of 13 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) basis,” said a coal ministry official.

The official added that despite the mining industry facing a tepid market situation, coal mining and supply by Coal India to the power sector was at an optimum level.

“CIL despatched over 21 MT more to power sector during the current year and the mines are still holding a stock of over 26 MT. There is no shortage of coal with CIL and the supplies shall have further boost as monsoon recede and production picks up,” said the official.

The current average coal stock stands at 13 days as against the normative 25 days.

Talking specifically about the national and largest thermal power producer NTPC, the coal ministry said that supply to the company was at 94 per cent materialisation level with 57.25 MT of coal supply during April-August duration this year.

NTPC recently issued two tenders to import 2.5 MT of coal citing constraint in domestic coal supply. R K Singh, Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy said his ministry has allowed all power producers to import coal as the domestic situation would remain poor for coming years.

Coal ministry, however, said that continued efforts to boost coal supply have helped to bring down the number of plants to 14 in the ‘critical stock list’ in August from April.

The coal ministry official also informed that the position of coal supply to power plants are monitored on the daily basis and strategies are framed by the Sub Group comprising officials of MoC, Ministry of Power (MoP), MoR, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Coal India Limited (CIL) & coal companies, to boost the movement of coal to power plants and to bring the power stations out of critical stock category.