The country is facing restrictions on the availability of domestic coal and, according to the Ministry of Coal, the rest of the dry fuel demand needs to be met through imports. The ministry further stressed that coal block holders – both captive and commercial – play a key role in alleviating the coal shortage situation. Domestic coal production is about 800 million tons, according to the Additional Secretary for Coal, who is also the chairperson of an inter-ministerial panel on coal connection for the power sector.
An inter-ministerial panel has recently met to consider requests for coal connections at power plants in the central / state sector and to review the status of existing coal connections. The Additional Coal Secretary said that “there are restrictions on the availability of domestic coal and domestic coal production is about 800 metric tons”.
“Therefore, the rest of the country’s coal demand has to be met through imports from other countries,” according to the minutes of the meeting on energy connectivity.
Earlier, Coal Secretary AK Jain blamed low coal reserves at power plants for various reasons such as rising demand for electricity in the post-Covid-19 economy, early summer arrival, rising gas prices and imports. Sharp decline in power generation of coal and coastal thermal power plants. He added that several measures are already being taken to increase the total power supply in the country.
The massive decline in the country has exacerbated the crisis of gas-fired power generation.
Coastal thermal power plants are now producing about half of their capacity due to the rapid rise in the price of imported coal. This has created a gap between the demand and supply of electricity.
The Secretary further said that the southern and western states are dependent on imported coal. And when domestic coal is shipped via wagon / rake to domestic coal-based plants in these states to offset the loss of imported coal production, the rake turnaround time is more than 10 days, which creates rake availability problems for other plants. .