Coal stock at thermal power plants may reach 45 MT by March-end

The government on Thursday said it is planning to augment coal stock at thermal power plants to 45 million tonnes by March-end. The coal ministry said that it further plans to increase the stock of fossil fuel at the pithead.

“The Ministry of Coal is planning to build stock at domestic coal-based plants to the tune of 30 million tonnes by the end of November, 2022,” the coal ministry said in a statement.

It has plans to keep building the stock so that by the end of March 31, 2023, coal stocks at Thermal Power Plants (TPP) go up to 45 million tonnes.

The total coal output in the country stands at 448 million tonnes (MT) as of October, 18 per cent higher than the production of the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

“The growth of coal production from Coal India Ltd (CIL) is also more than 17 per cent,” the ministry said.

The average coal rakes per day availability registered a growth of nine per cent in the April-October period of the current fiscal, thereby helping transportation of higher quantity of dry-fuel and building up stocks at power plants.

The power ministry is also augmenting transportation of coal through rail-cum-road mode.

“CIL has communicated a quota for RCR mode of lifting to all the power generating companies for next eight months. This will help power generating companies to plan transportation logistics in advance,” it added.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Ministry of Power, Railways and Coal are working hand in hand in a bid to encourage transportation of dry-fuel via sea route.

So far, transportation of coal from CIL arm Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) to Paradip by rail and thereafter to power plants on Eastern Coast is being made through rail-sea-rail (RSR) route.

The government is encouraging transportation of dry-fuel from coal mines in eastern parts of the country to power plants located on the western coast or northern part.

Accordingly, the capacity of coal transportation to Paradip is being increased. It is planned to start movement of coal for western coast plants through RSR by early next year.

The government is mulling to give a fillip to transportation of coal through all three possible modes.

The Centre is monitoring issues related to production, transportation and quality of domestic coal closely.

Coal India accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output.

Several states in the country faced power outages in the summers due to shortage of coal.

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