In a statement, Coal India Ltd (CIL) said it logged an impressive 31% growth in overburden removal (OBR) in April compared to the same month a year ago.
“This helps in stepping up production in the upcoming monsoon months,” it said.
The company logged a whopping 44% year-on-year growth in supplies to non-regulated sector (NRS).
CIL is firing on all cylinders in anticipation of a summer hotter than the last. It is scaling up production, holding additional coal stocks at its pitheads and has issued directives to power producers to hold higher inventory at their end.
All this in anticipation of electricity demand touching a new high this summer.
Already, the government has ordered the nation’s coal-fired power plants to run at full power. Coal is used to generate some 70% of the electricity in the country and its availability is being shored up to meet the increased demand for cooling in the summer months.”Sustaining the growth trend of previous fiscal, CIL excavated 169.5 million cubic meters of OB in April, achieving 109% target,” it said.
“Compared to 129.6 million cubic meters in April 2022, the growth was 31%.”
CIL’s coal production grew by 7.7% to 57.6 million tonne in April. The volume increase of 4.1 million tonne was achieved over a high base of 53.5 million tonne in April 2022.
All the subsidiaries of CIL have registered the highest-ever production for the month of April, except ECL.
“Production could have been even higher by around 1 million tonne but for the stoppage of work for four days by contractual workers in Talcher coalfields of MCL,” said a senior official of CIL.
CIL’s coal supplies shot up to 62.3 million tonne in April, nearly 5 million tonne more than the comparable month of last year when the offtake was 57.4 million tonne. “The 8.6% growth during the month was built over a high base,” it said.
All of CIL’s producing units logged growth.
Stabilizing the demand from the power sector, CIL’s focus on ramping up coal delivery to NRS witnessed a sharp 44% growth in April. The company supplied 11.8 million tonne to its NRS customers compared to 8.2 million tonne in April 2022.
Supplies to coal-fired plants in the country rose to 50.6 million tonne in April compared to 49.3 million tonne last year.
“Coal availability is comfortable with domestic coal-based power plants stocked with 33.8 million tonne as of April-end. This is 62% higher than 20.8 million tonne of the same period last year,” the statement said.
Stock depletion during April was merely 0.8 million tonne at the plants’ end, compared to 34.6 million tonne at the beginning of FY’24.
Coal inventory at CIL’s pitheads stood at 64.6 million tonne at April-end, which is 13% higher than the same period last year. Higher production by CIL ensured stocks reducing only 4.9 million tonne during the month.
CIL began the fiscal with a coal stock of 69.5 million tonne.
There is a total of 115 million tonne of coal stock in the system which includes 33.8 million tonne at domestic coal-based power plants; 64.6 million tonne at CIL pitheads; 13.3 million tonne of stock at private washeries, goods sheds, captive mines and ports while 3.5 million tonnes of coal is in rakes on run, that is, coal in transit, the statement said.
“Hopefully there would be no criticality on account of coal,” said the official.