Months of coal stock deficit ends as power plants report healthy volumes

KOLKATA: Coal stocks at power plants and mine pitheads have risen to a total of 60 million tonnes, enough to generate electricity for 36 days, ending scarcity that lasted several months.

Power sector executives say lower demand in recent winter months helped reduce fuel consumption, which increased stocks. Power plants now have stocks to run for 15 days and every unit has fuel, a marked improvement from October when they had enough coal for just six days and many had no coal at all.

Pithead stocks are enough to run power plants for 21 days. Stocks at power plants have risen to 25.37 million tonnes from about 10 million tonnes last October, while pithead stocks have risen to 34.50 million tonnes from 20 million tonnes in November. A senior Coal India executive said stock situation is critical at only three plants and ‘super critical’ at another two.

“Supplies to these plants are an issue due to logistics constraints,” he said.

Power producers said stocks rose because it was the lean season but plants need to stock up fuel as much as they can afford to. Coal India is requesting power firms to lift as much coal as possible to prepare for the summer demand.


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