Coal stock situation remains critical, but no risk of China-like blackout in India

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Bhubaneswar: Despite increased supply from Coal India, coal stock situation at Thermal power plant has remained critical.

According to the daily stock data released by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), number of non-pit head plants facing super critical coal stock situation has increased to 61 on Tuesday, as against 58 on Monday.

A power plant is said to be facing critical coal stock situation if it has fuel for less than seven days and termed supercritical if it has fuel for less than four days.

Last week (on October 12) number of plants with super critical coal stock situation was 65. So the situation still remains grave despite increased supply by coal miners like Coal India and NLC.

Public sector coal miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) has reported an improvement in coal supply post-monsoon. CIL’s average daily coal dispatches have improved to 1.76 million tonnes (MnT/day) during the first 13 days of October as against average daily dispatches of 1.61 MnT/day in September.

CEA monitors coal stock situation at 135 thermal power plants with cumulative capacity of 15 GW.

India has installed power generation capacity of 388.13 GW which includes 202 GW coal-based power generation capacity, 24.9 GW gas based power, 46 GW hydro power, 6.7 GW nuclear power and around 93 GW of renewable (solar, wind) as on August 31, 2021.

No risk of China-like blackout in India

With the withdrawal of Monsoon, domestic coal production and dispatches to improve further in the near term. However, declining share of imported coal will continue to put pressure on overall coal stock situation. Also, due to the ongoing festive season India’s power demand will remain high in the short term.

However, there’s no risk of a China like blackout situation in India as the country’s thermal power plants are supplied with rolling coal stock which is being replenished with continual coal dispatches.

“The country’s power plants are supplied with rolling coal stock which is being replenished with continual coal dispatches. This implies that there is no risk of a major blackout as was the case with China” analyses ‘Steelmint’, a research firm focuses on metal, mining and energy sector.

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