Coal India energises growth in September
September 2017 has been an excellent month for Coal India Limited (CIL) as the company posted robust growth in coal production (10.1 per cent), off-take to power sector (21 per cent), rake loading (19 per cent) and OB removal (24 per cent). This was despite production and dispatch adversely affected in the last week of September due to festive holidays.
CIL recorded 10.1 per cent growth in coal production in September 2017. As a result, cumulative growth of production till September 2017 became positive which was negative till August 2017. Coal production growth in September 2017 is the highest in the last four years for the month. Despite first two days of October 2017 being holidays, there has been a growth of 8.9 per cent in coal production, so far, which is likely to go up further during the month.
For the month of September 2017, the growth in coal supply to power plants is an impressive 21 per cent, one of the highest in the history of CIL. The supply to power plants was 35.1 MTS against 29.1 MTS in September’16. Rake loading per day during September 2017 for the power utilities of the country grew by 19 per cent as CIL loaded 192.7 rakes per day in comparison to 162.1 rakes per day during September 2016. The synergy between CIL and Railways resulted in substantial increase in rake loading per day by 30.6 rakes.
Though there was growth of about 21 per cent in the supply of coal to power plants, it is noted that the growth in coal based power generation is 6.6 per cent. One of the reasons could be the decline in coal imports. There is a continuous decline in import of coal in recent years. During the month of August there was a decline of 24 per cent in imports resulting in huge savings of forex. Coal import in August 2017 stood at 14.97 MTS (provisional), against 19.75 MTS in August 2016. Import of coal fell 6.4 per cent to 191.95 MTS in 2016- 17 after higher production by Coal India which saw the country move to a position of surplus and superior coal.
1 tonne of imported non coking coal is equivalent to 1.3 tonnes of indigenous non coking coal because of more ash in Indian coal. Indian coal is of drift origin and therefore inherently high in ash content.
A number of initiatives have been taken in September 2017 by CIL to ensure increased supply of coal to the power sector:
i. The coal stock (36.3 MT on 1.9.2017 has come down to 31.3 MT 30.9.17) at mines of CIL has been offered to power plants situated within a radius of 50-60 KM, with a freedom to lift as much coal as they can by their own arrangement. Many of the power plants like DVC, MAHAGENCO, NTPC, ROSA, LANCO etc. have started taking coal from such stocks.
ii. One of the subsidiaries of CIL. NCL is loading about 27 rakes per day. Railways have been requested to divert about 21 rakes to the up country power plants, as the power plants located in the vicinity of NCL have already sufficient coal stock at their end and are getting regular supplies by MGR.
iii. CIL has set up round-the-clock Monitoring and Control Cell at its Corporate Office as well as in all its subsidiaries to monitor coal supply 24 x 7 to power sector. This cell has a toll free helpline number for early redress of grievances of consumers. At the meeting of the Secretary, Coal and Secretary, Power on 3.10.2017, it was decided that CIL would dispatch 215 rakes every day to the power plants of the country. CIL has been consistently supplying more than 215 rakes to the power sector since 5th October.
Under the stewardship of Piyush Goyal, Minister of Coal, many landmark reforms were carried out in the coal sector i.e. Flexi utilisation of domestic coal scheme, linkage rationalisation etc, as a result it has become easier for the power plants to move coal from one plant to the other. If one considers the overall scenario, FY18 is really good for the Nation because power generation is increasing continuously, domestic coal production and supply is increasing and imports are declining. CIL team is fully geared up and has taken up the challenge of meeting the coal requirement.