Coal India has chalked out its supply plan for thermal power plants for next year. The public sector miner on Tuesday said it would supply 156 million tonnes (mt) to the power sector during the peak summer months of April-June amid concerns over a spike in demand.
The supply in the first three months of next fiscal makes up 25.6 per cent of the annual despatch target of 610mt to power in 2023-24.
The total domestic coal demand projected for the power sector for 2023-24 is estimated at 821mt, with Coal India accounting for nearly three-quarters of the supply.
A quarterly breakup of the supply available with the Telegraph, shows Coal India plans to despatch 136.6mt in the second quarter. In the third and fourth quarters, the miner would again step up despatches to 153mt and 164 mt, respectively.
“Even after despatching the planned coal to power utilities in the first quarter ofFY24, CIL is likely to have a healthy 50mt stock at the pitheads by June 2023 end,” said a senior official of the company. The PSU is optimistic of meeting the 610mt target, which is20mt more than earlier projection of 590mt. Coal India has already clocked a supply of 554mt to the power sector and is on track to close 2022-23 with more than 585mt despatch to the sector.
Even as Coal India is stepping up production, the power ministry in January had directed central and state generating companies and independent power producers to import coal for blending at the rate of 6 per cent by weight so as to have sufficient stock at their power plants for smooth operations till September 2023.
The ministry has also directed thermal power plants not to take any planned outage in April and May. Moreover, power minister R.K. Singh has informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday the railways has taken steps to purchase 1 lakh wagons to ease the logistics constraints.