Power Minister RK Singh will hold a meeting on August 22 to review the availability of coal for thermal power plants, especially in view of the ongoing monsoon season, even as coal ministry has said that 77 million tonnes of dry fuel is currently available, which is more than sufficient to meet the requirement of power sector, highly placed sources said.
The meeting comes just days after Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi had last week reviewed the availability of coal, where it was informed that there is adequate supply of dry fuel to meet the requirements of coal-based power plants. Meanwhile, in Tuesday’s meeting, where coal ministry officials will also be present, Singh is likely to review the stock situation of dry fuel available with various subsidiaries.
At the same time sources informed that while 40 days are left for the monsoon season to end (till September 30), there is adequate supply of coal in the country, as 30 million tonnes is there in thermal power plants, while 47 million tonnes is available in coal mines. So a total of 77 million tonnes of dry fuel is currently available to meet requirements of thermal power plants. In 40 days, even after maximum depletion of coal stocks, at least 1.5 million tonnes of dry fuel will remain, as it cannot go below that level, a coal ministry source told IANS.
So considering the fact that 40 days are still left for the monsoon season to end, at least 6 million tonnes of coal will be available at any cost despite maximum depletion of stock, the source said, adding that whereas 77 million tonnes of coal is currently there, which is much more than the requirement of coal-based power plants. On August 17, coal and mines minister Pralhad Joshi had undertaken a review of availability of dry fuel during the ongoing monsoon season.
During the meeting with senior officials of Coal India Limited (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) as well as other entities, it was informed during the meeting that both CIL and SCCL have adequate supplies of coal to meet the demand of coal-based power plants during the rainy season. CIL has clocked highest-ever dispatch to non-power sector, at 3.68 lakh tonnes per day during the current fiscal, sources said.
Overall offtake of CIL stood at 85.2 million tonnes, a growth of almost 10 per cent over last year, whereas after dispatching 25.1 million tonnes of coal, SCCL has achieved 12.6 per cent growth in the current financial year over last year.
CIL has shown a growth of 11 per cent over last year to register 75.7 million tonnes production in the second quarter of current fiscal (up to August 14), recording 100.6 per cent achievement of target. Similarly, SCCL has produced 23.6 million tonnes coal, thus achieving 101.5 per cent of target. At 40 million tonnes, growth from captive and commercial blocks has increased by 8 per cent in 2023-24 over 2022-23, sources further said.
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