Coal at thermal power plants have crossed the 22-day stock mandated by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
As on March 12, 2020, 135 plants monitored by the CEA had a stock of 39.48 million tonnes. The previous high was a stock of 26 days, around four years ago. The average daily consumption at that time was was 1.48 million tonnes, while it is 1.76mt at present.
The public sector miner had stepped up production after the monsoons. Offtake was earlier affected by rain and production disruptions.
According to Coal India officials, the high stock level comes just before summer when generation is expected to increase.
“With coal stocks comfortably placed, there should not be any shortage in the ensuing summer months,” said a Coal India official.
Thermal power generation between April 1, 2019, and March 9, 2020, was 986.54 billion units, 7.94 per cent less than the actual target.
The plant load factor, a measure of efficiency of thermal power plants, stood at 56.41 per cent at the end of February, less than the planned 59.42 per cent.
Even as thermal power output has fallen short of target, generation from nuclear and hydroelectric sources have compensated for the shortfall with overall generation falling only 5.22 per cent short of the target for 2019-20 as on March 9, 2020.
Coal India supplies to 125 power plants of the 134 monitored by the CEA.
The coal stock at pitheads of CIL stood at 51 MTs as of March 11, thus making a total stock of 90MTs at both ends. According to officials the high stock would take care of any immediate surge in demand.