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Number of plants under outage down by 50% with improved coal supply: POSOCO

It further said the coal stock at power plants was fast depleting and currently stood at 7.3 million tonnes (mt)
The number of plants which were under outage (not operating) due to coal shortage have halved on October 13, said a recent data by grid operator Power System Operation Corporation (POSOCO).

According to POSOCO, the total capacity of units under outage due to low coal stocks has reduced from to 6Gw on October 13 from 11Gw as on October 12.

Coal shortage, which emerged in the country after August, led to several thermal power plants reeling under shortage of coal with stocks barely of 1-2 days. Several units which had no coal stock were forced to shut down generation due no coal availability.

State miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) said on Monday that it had scaled up supplies to power utilities of the country to 1.61 million tonne (MTs) a day during the past four days of October.

The average supply during the last 12 days has touched 1.56 MT which the company said is a 24 per cent growth over corresponding period, last year.

Since August, coal stock levels at thermal units have dwindled. Currently, 36 Gw of power generation capacity has one day of coal stock and 20 Gw has less than three days of coal, according to the National Power Portal.

While the union ministry of power and coal denied of any coal shortage and electricity supply crisis, the Centre later asked thermal power generators to import coal for at least 10 per cent blending, citing shortage of domestic coal supply.

“During the August-September period, the share of coal-based generation increased to 66 per cent, from 62 per cent in 2019. As a consultant, total coal consumption during the same period increased 18 per cent over the corresponding period in 2019. However, supply from Coal India is not commensurate with the requirement," said a notice from the fuel management division of the Central Electricity Authority, the technical arm of the power ministry.

It further said the coal stock at power plants was fast depleting and currently stood at 7.3 million tonnes (mt).

Coal India executives however said the company would be able to touch 1.8 million tonne of supply by end of this month. "The daily supply has already surpassed demand, so coal stock position will touch a comfortable position soon," said the executive.

Several states have expressed their panic over shortage of coal, including the national capital of Delhi. Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Kerala have made requests to the Centre to divert more coal to power generation units in their state. 

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