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Shortage of coal caused power generation loss in 2017-18, acknowledges govt

Power ministry wants an assured supply of 615 million tonnes of coal in 2018-19

Shreya Jai  |  New Delhi 

coal, jcb

Acknowledging that shortage hit generation in the current year, and that supply still was a sore point, the ministry has said that the sector would need 615 million tonnes of supply in the coming financial year. This would also entail an increased demand of railway rakes of 288 per day to meet the demand. In an inter-departmental meeting of power, coal, railways, along with and India, held in January, Minister R K Singh said efforts should be made to ensure that there was no shortage of during the next monsoon season. “The supply situation is still critical, as there are 10 stations with zero and around 55 plants have stock of less than 7 days. companies and the should improve supply to stations so that they have sufficient stock to meet their requirements and build up their stock to normative level, and there is no shortage of during the next monsoon season i.e. June to September 2018,” Singh was quotes as having said in the minutes to the meeting held in January. The minutes were reviewed by Business Standard. To meet the same and speed up the operations, India would now look at the loading rakes beyond stipulated time and aim for round the clock operations. “CIL assured to load a rake within 5 hours as per existing free loading time from the sidings with loading facility of fewer than 4 rakes/day. It will load a rake within 3 hours from the sidings with more than 4 rakes/day capacity,” said the minutes. The minutes also quoted ministry officials citing supply was below normative levels in 2017. “During the current year, there has been a loss of generation due to a shortage of The supply of during the current year was reviewed and it has been seen that the supply of from CIL has improved to 217 rakes per day during November-December. However, there has been a dip during January 2018,” said an official. deficit started in September 2017 touching a low of six days of average availability with units in October 2017.

Close to 11,000 Mw of units were under forced outage due to low stocks. In December, it improved slightly to 10 days and now stands at 12 days. In the meeting, officials said the stock available at 113 numbers of plants monitored on daily basis by CEA is about 14 million tonnes against the normative requirement of about 30 million tonnes. It was noted that against a loading plan of 274 rakes, the average supply of rake by CIL was about 259 rakes per day during January, said, officials. Based on growth in electricity demand, it was estimated that requirement of domestic during 2018-19 would be about 615 MT. Therefore, rakes required per day from CIL to meet this requirement would be about 288 rakes per day. In response to the demand put by the ministry, a representative from the ministry of railways, Member (Traffic) said they would put in all efforts to enhance the number of rakes. “But plants should also be impressed upon for taking to build up their stock to the normative level so that Railway rakes should not remain idle and their investment in the production of rakes should not become waste,” he said. In earlier public statements, secretary, the ministry of had also expressed the concern that plants weren’t stocking at their units. Singh thereby mandated all the stakeholders to frame a conducive policy for supply which should cover, supply, rakes availability and allotment, payment to India etc. Recently, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) overhauled the methodology and formula to calculate the availability of stock and normative levels to declare a unit with critical situation. CEA aims to streamline the data for demand and performance of state utilities and plants along with and railway rake availability, this paper reported.

First Published: Tue, February 13 2018. 00:33 IST