The government on Sunday promised to have enough dry fuel reserves to meet the demand for power stations, with power outages in many parts of the country due to shortages of coal, and fears of disruptions are “completely false.”
Power Minister RK Singh also said that “unnecessary panic” had been created about the coal shortage and that all the needs of the power supply companies would be met. However, if any supply company breaks the power supply contract, action will be taken against it.
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To allay the fears of many states with one or two days of dry fuel reserves, the Coal Ministry said in a statement that the country had sufficient supplies and that the fear of any disruption to the power supply was completely false. India Limited (CIL) has over 400 lakh tonnes at the end, which is supplied to power stations.
The daily dry fuel demand of power plants is about 18 lakh tonnes, while the daily coal supply is 17 lakh tonnes. “Fear of depletion of coal reserves at the end of the plant is false.”
The Ministry of Coal has actually surpassed domestic dry fuel supply imports significantly in the current financial year.
“Domestic coal-based power generation has increased by almost 24 per cent this year (until September 2021) due to strong supply from coal companies,” the ministry said.
Despite prolonged rains, coal-bearing areas were affected and CIL was able to supply more than 255 million tonnes of dry fuel to the power sector, the first maximum ever supplied to the power sector.
Of the total coal supply from all sources, the current coal supply from CIL to the power sector is more than 14 lakh tonnes per day and due to declining rainfall, this supply has already increased to 15 lakh tonnes and is expected to increase to more than 16 lakh tonnes per day by the end of October 2021, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Power also said it had four days of coal reserves in the country and allayed fears of a shutdown.
Many states – including Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu – have already flagged coal shortages at power stations. In fact Punjab has already imposed rotating load sheds in many places.
Power Minister RK Singh today inspected the coal reserves at various thermal power plants supplying power to distribution companies in the national capital, official sources said.
The Minister directed that the distribution companies of Delhi should get as much power as they need.
The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) have been directed to cater to the needs of all distribution companies, including Delhi. The Minister has asked the Case Authority of India Limited (GAIL) to supply gas to all distribution companies from all sources.
During the meeting, Mr Singh said action would be taken against any supply company that resorted to load sheds despite adequate supplies.