Coal India’s daily output is expected to rise to three million tonnes (MT) next month, enough to run a 660-MW power plant for a year as the state-run miner focuses on expansion of projects and increasing production.
In recent weeks, the company focused on removing top soil to expose coal, which will rapidly raise output, a Coal India executive said. “The company has also received environment clearances for a handful of large expansion projects. These are now underway and has aided in increasing daily production,” he said.
Daily output has already reached 2.3 million tonnes after dipping to 1.1 million tonnes from 1.8 million tonnes following heavy late-monsoon rain. It has now risen to 2.3 million tonnes. A former Coal India chairman said that to achieve targets towards the end of the fiscal year, the company shifts focus from removing top soil to raising output.
In January, Coal India clocked a double-digit growth in output for the first time in this fiscal.
It now plans to increase stocks at thermal power plants to 30 days and reduce pending supplies to non-power consumers to zero by March. At present power plants are stocked with 20 day’s fuel. Coal at pitheads is 35 MT, while thermal plants have stocks of 36 MT.
“Better management of supply logistics ensured that the coal stock at various power stations was maintained throughout the year and the number of critical power plants never touched double digits during FY20,” said the executive cited earlier. In January, Mahanadi Coalfields raised output by 21.5 per cent while South Eastern Coalfields increased it by 14.4 per cent, helping output rise, he said.
With power plants sufficiently stocked, Coal India has liquidated over 78 per cent of pending supplies to other customers. It reduced the pendency from 5,143 rakes, or goods trains carrying coal, as on April 1 last year to 1,116 in January.