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Coal India target for power sector pegged at 513 mn tonnes for next fiscal

Shreya Jai/New Delhi 14 Feb 18 | 12:29 AM

Coal India will supply 513 million tonnes of coal and offer 12 million tonnes more via e-auction to the power sector in 2018-19 (FY19). The remaining 90 million tonnes of the sector’s demand will come from Singareni Collieries and captive coal blocks, Coal India executives said.

After facing a deficit in the last quarter, the power ministry has asked Coal India and Indian Railways to ensure a supply of 615 million tonnes annually, with 288 rakes moving every day. The deficit, according to the ministry, had led to a shortage of power generation.

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To ensure the smooth movement of 288 rakes every day, Coal India has drawn up a plan of how much coal would be provided by which company. Of Coal India’s eight subsidiaries, Mahanadi Coalfields would load the highest number of rakes (76) per day. South Eastern Coalfields would occupy the second spot, loading 57 rakes.

These decisions were taken at a recent meeting chaired by Minister of State for Power and New and Renewable Energy R K Singh. Representatives of the ministries of power and railways, NTPC, and Coal India attended the meeting. 

Power ministry officials said the production from captive coal blocks awarded to private power developers and states would also improve. Captive mines allotted to private power developers and states would collectively contribute 105 million tonnes by 2021-22; at present, they supply 37 million tonnes. 

For FY19, Coal India’s production target has been increased to 630 million tonnes from 600 million tonnes in FY18, said Coal Minister Piyush Goyal in the Rajya Sabha. Till January 1 this year, it had produced 385.6 million tonnes. 

“There are issues with some of the coal blocks and this needs to be monitored," said an official with the Ministry of Power. The coal ministry auctioned the 29 blocks to the private sector and allotted 11 mines to states through the first ever e-auction.

The excess coal produced would also be delivered expeditiously to the power generators, with the railway promising to increase the number of rakes to ferry the fuel. Mohammad Jamshed, member (traffic), Ministry of Railways, said the average loading time by Coal India’s subsidiary companies should be reduced. 

“This will help to increase the turnaround time of rakes. The time for loading rakes at places where more than two are refilled per day should not be more than four hours; for places where less than two rakes are loaded per day, the time should not be more than five hours," he said.

During the meeting, officials of the power ministry said a portal was being developed to track the status of coal availability at a siding/mine, availability of railway rakes being supplied to the power plants, and the status of coal stock at the power plants on a real-time basis.

“At present, this data is housed in three different places — with coal companies, the railways and power plants. Many times, there is a mismatch of the data reported by different agencies. This will also lead to transparency in the monitoring of coal supplies to power stations," the official said.

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