In March this year, Coal India had written to power plants, asking to increase the off-take of coal. But the power plants did not pay heed to the advice.
In March 2021, Coal India had asked the power plants to increase the off-take of coal. (Photo: Reuters)
Are power plants responsible for the impending coal shortage in India and the looming energy crisis? A letter, written by Coal India Limited (CIL) to power plants, seems to suggest.
The letter, accessed by India Today, was written in March this year and reads how the largest coal producing company had anticipated a possible coal crisis and by default, an energy crisis.
The CIL had suggested how almost 16 per cent of coal stocks remained unutilised.
“While analyzing the dispatch to power plants, it is found that despatch to power sector is only to the level of 84 per cent of its monthly target, primarily due to the notably low intake through the road mode which is not in line with the projected demand and target,” reads the letter.
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“CIL is having sufficient availability of coal which can cater for the additional demand of power houses. Even during this situation where power demand is at its peak, power plants are still not submitting program/adequate program from ECL, BCCL and CCL which is hampering power dispatch as well as overall dispatch performance,” the letter read.
Sources suggest that while Coal India wanted power plants to increase the off-take of coal, the power plants did not pay heed to the advice.
A source further suggested that Coal India had been writing to power plants since October 2020, advising that surplus coal is available and asking them to restock their reserves.
“Anticipating further growth in demand in the ensuing summer season, you are requested to suitably advise the power plants to build up stock by lifting more coal from the above sources of ECL, BCCL & CCL preferably through RCR/Road Mode. They may further be requested to source and meet their additional requirement in the aforesaid manner at the earliest to build up the necessary stocks considering the oncoming summer and monsoon season to prevent the occurrence of any generation loss on account of shortage of coal at the power plants,” the letter further reads.
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