110 mt of coal stocks to be maintained at mine pitheads, power plants by March 2023: Coal Secretary

The Ministry of Coal maintains a cumulative stockpile of 110 million tons (metric tons), which includes 65 million tons (metric tons) in mines operated by Coal India (CIL), and 40-45 million tons (metric tons) of buffer stocks at thermal power plants ( TPPs), by March 2023.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Coal Minister Amrit Lal Meena said, “We are also following the CEA forecast. Accordingly, a slightly higher requirement has been put on coal based on higher power generation. It was around 5 Mt (expected by CEA). The question is.” Not on the supply side, but on the evacuation. The Secretary of Energy has set a target and we should see 40-45 metric tons closing stock being held at TPP points by March 2023.”

The government expects demand for the main commodity to rise further in anticipation of higher energy consumption, particularly during the peak summer months from April to June. The 20th India Electricity Survey, published by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) in November 2022, said that peak electricity demand in India in FY24 starting March 2023 is expected to be around 230 GW.

Asked about the ministry’s plans for coal stocks, he said, “The minister also desired to keep 65 million tons of coal in the CIL. Therefore, we plan to have 65 metric tons at the end of the CIL, and 40-45 metric tons at the power station end and Another 7-8 metric tons are in transit till March 2023. So we have tentative plans for a total stock of 110 metric tons. It may be slightly compromised due to higher consumption at the end of the power plant. Our stock at CIL is about 34 million tons at present. In plants Reserves stand at 30.6 metric tons as of Thursday.

He said the Ministry of Energy’s directive to plants to import 6 percent of their coal needs was based on “an abundance of caution”.

coastal shipping

For the first time, the government is working to supply coal to power plants on the West Coast via the coastal shipping route.

We also feel that it would be better to transport some coal by sea route from Paradip port to the west coast. So far, the coal evacuated from Paradip has gone to Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and some NTPC plants. But for the first time, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Punjab Juncos along with NTPC have put out tenders to appoint tankers to carry coal from Paradip. Initial estimates are 10-12 presses per day to start moving for these companies. If that happens, there will be a further increase in capacity.”