NEW DELHI: At the request of state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) to increase supplies, Union Minister of Coal and Mines, Pralhad Joshi, set out for a two-day tour of the coal-rich states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand .
Joshi will review the production performance of India’s largest coal mining subsidiaries, including South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), according to two government officials familiar with the developing.
Joshi, tasked with helping CIL deliver an additional 200,000 tonnes of coal every day through 60 rakes, will review SECL’s Gerva mine, Asia’s largest open pit mine in Chhattisgarh, and other blocks such as Dipka and Kusmunda el Wednesday. While CIL’s annual production target is 670 mt for the current financial year, extraction of 740 mt is expected.
“Happy to share that cumulative coal supplies to thermal power plants from all sources, including @CoalIndiaHQ, were over 2 million tonnes yesterday. We are further increasing the delivery of coal to power plants to ensure sufficient coal reserves at power plants, “Joshi said in a tweet on Wednesday.
Joshi will also meet with Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren later in the day to seek the issuance of approvals for CIL mines in the mineral-rich state. The minister will also visit the Ashoka mine in the state and hold a review meeting of CIL’s subsidiaries, Central Coalfields CL and Bharat Coking Coal.
A spokesman for the union coal ministry confirmed the fact.
Jharkhand government officials did not immediately respond to Mint inquiries on Wednesday.
The new CIL manual involves increasing the supply of fossil fuels to 2.1 million tons (mt) per day starting October 20, from the current 1.9 mt, to power plants, according to plans discussed in the meeting adopted by PK Mishra, Chief Secretary. the prime minister on Tuesday, also attended by coal secretary Anil Kumar Jain, energy secretary Alok Kumar and rail board chairman Suneet Sharma.
Joshi is accompanied by the Additional Secretary of the Union Coal Ministry, VK Tiwari, and the Deputy Secretary, BP Pati.
Interestingly, CIL has been signaling its concern about inadequate fuel reserve buildup in power projects for a long time, specifically for the summer and monsoon seasons, as Mint previously reported.
The revival of the Indian economy has contributed to the coal shortage as demand for electricity increased. This resulted in an 18% increase in coal consumption during August-September compared to the corresponding period in 2019.
In addition to a sharp increase in electricity demand, growth in the number of electricity consumers, inadequate supply of power projects before the monsoon, and heavy rains in September also affected coal production and dispatch. Additionally, lower generation from other fuel sources and non-payment of coal quotas also contributed to inadequate supply.
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