Power sector seems to be facing coal shortage again as 46 coal-fired power plants reported stocks of less than a week, according to official data.
According to the daily coal stock report of 113 power plants monitored by Central Electricity Authority (CEA), six plants have coal stocks for zero day and eight plants have stocks of just one day to generate electricity as on February 22, 2018.
Industry sources said coal supplies have not improved since the monsoon season last year when some of the coal-fired power plants had faced acute shortage.
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Power, coal and railway ministries had taken a series of measures to improve coal supplies to power plants after power prices crossed Rs 11 per unit at energy exchanges in September last.
The CEA report stated that there are 12 non-pithead power plants which are facing super critical coal stock situation or in other words these have coal stocks for less than four days.
Besides there are six such plants that have coal stock of less than seven days. Of these 46 plants with stocks of less than a week, Badarpur, Bhatinda and Panki plants are shut down.
The government in January-end had decided on various steps including the use of dedicated rail transportation and setting up of power projects only within 500 km from coal mines to boost coal supplies to power plants.
It was also decided that all power plants within 20 km from pit-head of coal mine will construct elevated closed belt conveyors within next 2 years.
As per the official estimates on the basis of power consumption growth, the requirement of domestic coal in 2018-19 would be about 615 million tonnes, which means that 288 rakes of coal per day would be required from Coal India Ltd (CIL).
A senior official said that as against a loading plan of 274 rakes, the average supply of rake by CIL was about 259 rakes per day from January 3-22, 2018.
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