The coal stock situation at thermal power projects seems to be inching towards normalcy as the number of non-pit head projects having less than four days of coal (supercritical stock) reduced to 61 on Sunday from 70 a week ago, government data showed.
According to latest coal stock data of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the number of non-pit head projects having less than four days of coal (supercritical stock) was 61 on October 17 and 70 on October 10, while it was 64 on October 3.
The improvement in the coal stock situation assumes significance in view of the ongoing shortage of the dry fuel at thermal power plants in the country.
The Central Electricity Authority monitors coal stock situation of 135 thermal power plants with cumulative generation capacity of over 165 GW.
The data also showed that the number of power plants with zero days of coal has come down to 16 with cumulative installed generation capacity of 13,495 MW, compared to 17 with 16,430 MW capacity a week back.
The number was 17 with 21,325 MW capacity on October 3.
The number of the plants with one day of coal stock has also reduced to 25 with 34,080 MW capacity as on October 17, compared to 26 with 34,930 MW capacity on October 10. This number was 20 with 22,550 MW capacity on October 3.
Similarly, the number of plants with two days of coal also decreased to 18 (with 25,914 MW capacity) from 22 (27,325 MW) a week ago. This figure was 20 with 29,960 MW capacity on October 3.
The number of plants with three days of coal also came down to 15 (with 20,290 MW capacity) from 18 (24,094 MW) a week ago. The number was 19 with 22,000 MW capacity on October 3.
The number of plants with four days of coal has increased to 18 with 21,915 MW capacity as of Sunday, from 13 with 15,210 MW capacity a week ago, showing improvement in dry fuel stock. The number was 15 with 16,890 MW capacity in the preceding week.
The number of plants with five days of coal has decreased to 10 (12,630 MW capacity) from 11 with 10,775 MW capacity a week ago. This number was six (7,174 MW) on October 3.
The power ministry data also showed improvement in the power shortage situation as it came down to 1,456 MW On October 17 from 2,714 MW a week back.
Amid the coal shortage at power plants, the peak power shortage had moderated to 986 MW on October 15, in sharp contrast to 11,626 MW on October 7.
The 11,626 MW peak power shortage on October 7 was the highest during the first half of this month.
Experts are of the view that power demand has moderated with the onset of autumn and heavy rains in many parts of the country this weekend.
They opined that with the government's efforts to ramp up coal supplies to power plants, the dry fuel situation would further improve.
Earlier last week, the power ministry had stated that the capacity of units under outage due to low coal stocks reduced from 11 GW on October 12 to 5 GW on October 14.
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