Coal shortage due to rain, efforts on to fulfill demand for thermal plants: Govt

Coal shortage: The Centre on Thursday said that there was shortage of coal due to rain as import was ceased but it is making efforts to fulfill the demand for thermal plants. 

“There was shortage of coal due to rain as import was ceased. We are supplying 2 million tonnes of coal since yesterday (Wednesday). We are making efforts to fulfill demand for thermal coal power. I visited South Eastern Coalfields yesterday,” said Union Minister Pralhad Joshi in Chatra, Jharkhand. 

Earlier today, the minister visited Ashoka OCP of Central Coalfields Limited in Chatra District, Jharkhand. “With a peak-rated capacity of 20 MTPA, it is one of the larger coal projects in CCL. Interacted with on-ground team and motivated them to increase production and offtake from the mine,” he said.

India is running low on coal, and some states have already started cutting power due to less production on account of coal shortage. Reuters reported that India is suffering its worst power shortage in October since March 2016 due to a crippling coal shortage. 

After analysing data from grid regulator POSOCO, the news agency said power supply fell about 750 million kilowatt hours short of demand during the first 12 days of October, a deficit of 1.6% that was the worst in five and a half years.

The October shortfall was already the biggest in absolute terms for a single month since November 2018, even with 19 days of October still left. The shortfall this month already accounts for 21.6% of the total deficit this year.

Northern states such as Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and the eastern states of Jharkhand and Bihar, were the worst affected, registering supply deficits of 2.3%-14.7%.

The Coal Minister on Wednesday said that cumulative coal supplies to thermal power plants from all sources including Coal India recorded more than 2 million tonnes on Tuesday. “We are increasing coal dispatch to power plants further to ensure sufficient coal stocks at power plants,” he said on Twitter.

He also said the requirement is 1.1 million tonnes of coal for power generation and the Centre has already supplied two million tonnes. “The stock is also rising because of it. I assure that there will be no problem in meeting the supply for power generation in the country,” he said.

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