New Delhi : The Ministry of Coal has clarified that there is adequate availability of coal for Thermal Power Plants (TPP) of the country. As of July 16, 2023, the coal stock at thermal power plants stands at 33.46 million tonnes (MT), which is 28% higher compared to the same period last year. The overall coal availability, including the stock at the mine end, transit stock, and TPPs, is 103 MT, marking a 34% increase from the previous year’s 76.85 MT. The Ministry is actively coordinating with Central Gencos, State Gencos, and various stakeholders, ensuring that there is no shortage of coal in the power sector.
The Coal Ministry further reports that coal production in July 2023 has surpassed the production during the corresponding period last year. Despite the impact of rains being negligible, this has been made possible through meticulous planning for the monsoon season at each mine. Coal companies have also constructed cemented roads to facilitate uninterrupted evacuation from larger mines, and the transportation of coal from nine mines to railway sidings has been initiated through mechanized coal handling plants. Additionally, coal extraction from upper seams has been planned, resulting in a total coal production of 258.57 MT from April 1 to July 16, 2023, compared to 236.69 MT during the same period last year.
Simultaneously, coal dispatches to the power sector have reached 233 MT, surpassing the 224 MT dispatched last year. In fact, due to ample availability, coal companies have supplied significant additional quantities to the non-regulated sector during this period. It should be noted that the growth rate of thermal power generation this year is only 2.04%, while coal production has experienced a growth rate of over 9%.
Regarding the availability of railway rakes, the Ministry of Railways is ensuring an adequate supply for all subsidiaries, thereby guaranteeing sufficient coal stocks for thermal power plants. The Ministries of Coal, Railways, and Power are working closely together to ensure the availability of coal for all Thermal Power Plants.
The Coal Ministry also emphasizes that no power plant has been shut down due to a lack of coal. Any plant closures must be attributed to other reasons, as clarified by the Ministry.