Coal stock position at power plants have improved considerably with number of plants holding critical stocks declining to one this week. It tipped to 33 during mid-October last year.
GMR’s Warora Thermal Power Station, the only plant with critical stock, however, is currently holding 4 days stock according to data compiled by Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
A senior Coal India executive said: “Coal sale to GMR’s Warora plant is not an issue, however, logistic issues have led to lower supplies although the plant is running at more than 90% capacity utilisation at present. Two rakes are being sent every day and they are managing.”
According to CEA data, there are a few coal plants with stocks ranging between one-day and three-days, they are not considered critical since they are close to mine mouth or have consumed majority of their coal quota for the period.
Nevertheless, rising thermal power demand during summer last year led to rising coal consumption by power companies, more than their receipts, leading to dwindling stocks forcing some power generators to scale down generation and some had to shut units. As winter set in, demand for power declined leading to rising stocks which was also coupled with increased production from Coal India.
On a national level average stocks at power plants have almost trebled to 28.45 million tonnes this week from 10 million tonnes in October. At present stocks are enough to generate power for 17 days. It had dwindled to 10.17 million tonnes in October.
Stocks at 17 pithead power plants are now around 6.76 million tonnes enough for 15 days. This is double CEA’s stipulation which requires pithead plants to hold stocks for seven days.
For non-pithead plants, stocks are around 21.69 million tonnes enough for 18 days and close to CEA stipulation of 21 days stock.
Vendible stock at Coal India has also increased 65% between October and now to 34.76 million tonnes. It is enough to run power plants for another 20 days apart from the stocks at power plants.