The power sector has been supplied more coal than the committed quantity and all-possible measures are being taken to augment the production of dry fuel in the next season also, a top official said on Thursday.
Speaking with reporters here, Coal Secretary Amrit Lal Meena said that the coal ministry has plans to supply more dry fuel to the power sector by March 31 and stressed that all coal companies are producing generally more than their target.
"Wherever there are issues in terms of land availability, forest clearances, logistics...we are having meetings with all stakeholders," he explained.
On the recent directive of the power ministry to the generating companies to import coal, the secretary said it is a precautionary measure.
The power ministry has asked gencos to ensure the timely import of coal as it anticipates a supply shortfall of 24 million tonnes in dry fuel during April-September 2023.
"In power generation, the growth is more than 10 per cent from April to December and in the thermal segment it is 11.4 per cent. Though our coal production is also 15-16 per cent since the requirement of power has gone up much beyond what was expected therefore as a matter of abundance caution government has taken this precautionary measure," he explained.
The power ministry has asked gencos to use imported coal to the extent of 6 per cent of their requirement.
"Power minister has set a target that we should try and see that about 45 million tonnes should be the closing stock at the thermal power end by the end of this 31 March. Though efforts are on since consumption has gone up...because of the factors you are aware of....so our endeavour is to achieve the target set up by the minister but this has posed a challenge," he explained.
The minister, he said, has also desired that by the end of March 31, 2023, the coal companies should have 65 million tonnes at its pit-head.
"Having gone by the experience of April, May June and the monsoons of last year it is appropriate for the country that we keep a little higher stock so that in case of eventuality because of heavy rains...if there is diminishing production we have adequate stock," Meena said.