State-owned CIL on Monday said coal supply to the power sector rose 15.6 per cent to 49.7 million tonne last month in the wake of high demand of the dry fuel from electricity generating plants and stressed that it is planning to augment its dispatches further, especially to power plants in the coming months.
The statement comes at a time when several parts of the country are grappling with power crisis.
"With the intense demand for coal continuing unabated driven by an upward spiral in the electricity generation, CIL (Coal India) pushed up its supplies to power plants of the country to 49.7 million tonnes (MT) in April'22. This is 6.7 MT more supply compared to April’21 when the power sector’s dispatch was 43 MTs," the maharatna firm said.
With a higher output, CIL is aiming to increase its dispatches further, especially to power plants in the coming months.
Coal India, which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output, is one of the major suppliers of fossil fuel to the power sector.
On an average, the PSU supplied 1.66 MT of coal per day to power utilities in April which increased to 1.73 MT during last week. Average supply per day is at par with what was programmed by CIL for this sector during the first quarter of FY23.
The coal production by the PSU also rose 27.6 per cent to 53.5 MT last month over 41.9 MT in April 2021.
"To keep up with the increased appetite for coal, CIL accelerated its production to 53.5 MT, logging a strong 27.6 per cent growth," the PSU said.
All the subsidiaries of CIL have registered year-on-year growth. Mahanadi Coalfields, South Eastern Coalfields, Northern Coalfields, and Western Coalfields significantly ramped up their production in April.
"Coal output of April'22 was the highest ever for the month, so far, eclipsing the previous peak of 45.3 MT achieved in April'19," it said.
CIL's total offtake rose sharply to 57.5 MT in April, registering 6 percent growth compared to 54.2 MT of same month last year.
The offtake was 4 MT more than the output of the month.
Importantly, CIL registered 16 per cent growth in its overburden removal (OBR). The company excavated 132.8 million cubic meters of OBR during the month, registering 16 per cent growth. The same was 114.6 million cubic meters in April'21.
OBR is an important performance criterion that removes the topsoil in opencast mining and exposes the coal seam for faster extraction of coal in the future. It also improves the mine geometry and makes mines safer to operate.
The government had earlier said that the current power crisis is mainly on account of the sharp decline in electricity generation from different fuel sources and not due to the non-availability of domestic coal.
Coal Secretary A K Jain had attributed the low coal stocks at power plants to several factors such as heightened power demand due to the boom in the economy post-COVID-19, the early arrival of summer, a rise in the price of gas and imported coal, and sharp fall in electricity generation by coastal thermal power plants.