Power generating firms (gencos) have imported 92.07 lakh tonne of coal in April-June this financial year for blending purposes ahead of Monsoon season, Parliament was informed on Thursday.
“Ministry of Power (in April) advised Central Gencos, State Gencos and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to import coal for blending purpose during 2022-23,” Union Power Minister RK Singh said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
He also informed the House that to ensure minimum coal stocks in power plants before the onset of monsoon, the power ministry advised all Gencos to complete placement of awards for import of coal before May 31, 2022.
In May, the ministry had stated that domestic coal would be allocated proportionately to all Gencos based on the likely availability of domestic coal from Coal India Ltd (CIL) /Singhareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) from June 1, 2022, and the shortfall is to be met from blending of the imported coal.
The reply showed that 92,07,000 tonnes of coal were imported by the gencos during April-June this fiscal year, which includes 57,17,000 tonne by central gencos, 28,85,000 tonne by IPPs and 6,05,000 tonne by state gencos.
The state-owned power giant NTPC and NTPC-JV (joint venture) imported 49,39,000 tonne of coal in April-June this year.
In another reply to the House, Singh stated that as of March 31, 2022, the domestic coal stock was 24.18 million tonne (MT), which depleted to 19.80 MT as of April 30, 2022, but increased during May and June and has now reached 23.126 MT as of July 14, 2022, which is about 40 per cent of the normative stock requirement of 56.6 MT during July 2022.
As of July 14, 2022, the coal stock is sufficient for an average of 10 days at a requirement of 85 per cent PLF (plant load factor or capacity utilisation).
The gap between energy demand and supply is generally on account of factors other than inadequacy of power availability in the country like constraints in the distribution network, financial constraints, commercial reasons, forced outage of generating units etc, the minister explained.
In another reply to the House, the minister informed that state-gencos approached REC Ltd for a working capital loan for coal purchase.
REC has sanctioned loan amount totalling Rs 3,700 crore for the purchase of coal, which includes Rs 1,800 crore for Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd.
He also informed the House that the Plant Load Factor (PLF) of coal/lignite-based power plants with a capacity of 25 MW and above during the year 2021-22 was 58.87 per cent.
In 2022-23, the electricity demand has increased and power plants are generating the electricity as per the schedule given to them. The PLF for coal/lignite-based power plants in FY 2022-23 up to June 2022 is around 69.5 per cent, he stated.
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