Indian power plant coal stocks improve despite monsoon dislocations

6th December 2019 By: Ajoy K Das - Creamer Media Correspondent

Despite production disruptions during the monsoon season, coal stock availability at thermal power plants across the country has shown marked improvement, Indian Coal Minister Prahlad Joshi has said.

In reply to a question in Parliament, the Minister said that coal stocks available at thermal power plants across the country, on November 19, were assessed at 22.78-million tons, or 14 days’ consumption-equivalent, with five thermal power plants categorised as having ‘critical’ levels of feedstock, compared with 11.68-million tons available at thermal power plants in November 2018, or seven days’ consumption-equivalent, and 25 plants reeling with ‘critical’ stocks.

According to Joshi, while there had been positive growth in coal production during the first quarter of the current financial year, production had been slipping since July, largely owing to heavy rainfall in mining areas.

“Production of Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries is being reviewed regularly at the highest level of the Ministry. CIL has been asked to make all-out efforts to reach the [production] target [for] the year by improving output during the remaining months of the current fiscal,” he said in his reply.

The improved supplies to thermal power plants, despite a decline in production since July, have been achieved by CIL largely by liquidating pithead stocks. According to Ministry data, pithead stocks available a the State-run miner on April 1 were pegged at 54.15-million tons, which reduced to 19.15-million tons on September 3.