Even as several Chief Ministers sounded the alarm about the depleting coal supplies at power plants, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a review meeting on Monday while the Coal Ministry said any fear of disruption in power supply was entirely misplaced.
Reasons Behind low stock of fuel
Daily shortfall of one lakh tonne due to the extended monsoon season
High international prices of coal which reduced generation at import-based power plants by almost 30%
All under control
Coal at the power plants gets replenished every day. Therefore, any fear of coal stocks depleting is erroneous and misplaced. Coal Ministry
Situation ‘very critical’
The power situation is very critical in the entire country. Several Chief Ministers have written to the Centre about it. All are trying together to improve the situation. — Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister
The Coal Ministry, in a statement, has said there is ample coal to meet the demand of thermal power plants. The 72-lakh-tonne stock at power plants is sufficient for four days. Moreover, Coal India Limited (CIL) has a stock of more than 400 lakh tonnes, which is being supplied to power plants.
Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi Chief Minister
Ideally, coal stocks at power plants should be for two months.
In an indication that the government is focused on removing the supply constraints, Shah met Power Minister RK Singh, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi and senior officials from the two ministries.
The meeting was informed that the domestic coal supply was being increased to build up sufficient stocks. The CIL will increase its daily coal supply to 16 lakh tonnes by the month-end from 14 lakh tonnes it had supplied during the rains. Its subsidiaries and captive coal blocks will contribute another three lakh tonnes every day.
The Coal Ministry, in a statement, gave two reasons that triggered low stocks of coal at power plants. First, daily shortfall of one lakh tonne due to the extended monsoon. Second, high international prices of coal which reduced generation at import-based power plants by almost 30 per cent.
The ministry, however, pointed out that the coal available at the power plants gets replenished daily. “Therefore, any fear of coal stocks depleting is erroneous,” it reiterated.
The CIL supplied more than 255 million tonnes of coal to the power sector this year — the highest ever H-1 supply from the CIL to the power sector — despite heavy rainfall in the coal fields.
“The comfortable coal position in the country is reflected by the fact that the CIL is supplying 2.5 lakh tonnees daily to meet the demand of non-power industries,” added the ministry.