Rise in power demand leads to 17% hike in coal supply to electricity generating plants

The supply of coal to electricity generating plants increased by 17.09 percent to 58.45 million tonnes in July due to a rise in power demand, the government data said. The government in the last few months has taken various measures to ensure the sufficient availability of coal for power stations. The total coal dispatch to power utilities stood at 49.92 million tonnes (MT) in July last fiscal, according to provisional data from the coal ministry.

The overall coal production also went up by 11.37 percent to 60.42 MT in July as against 54.25 MT in the year-ago period. Overall dispatch of coal in the country went up by 8.51 percent to 67.81 MT last month compared to 62.49 MT in the corresponding month of the previous fiscal.

Earlier, the government had ordered Coal India (CIL) to import coal as an emergency measure to avoid the fuel shortage at power utilities and build up buffer stock. The state-owned firm accounts for over 80 percent of India’s coal output. Consequently, CIL awarded the contract for the supply of 7.91 lakh tonnes of imported coal to PT Bara Daya Energy Ltd to power generation companies during August and September.

The move was part of the government’s effort to build up a stock of coal to avoid the recurrence of power outages that happened in April due to a shortage of the fossil fuel. Coal shortages at various gencos had impacted the electricity supply in the country during the peak summer months of April and May.

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