Imported coal volumes up 17% during Apr-Oct as domestic supplies shrink

WASHINGTON - The receipt of imported coal by thermal power plants has shot up by 17.6 per cent during April-October. The coal import volumes refer to the power plants monitored by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), a power update report from CARE Ratings showed.

Imports escalated as domestic supplies by Coal India Ltd (CIL) and another state run producer- Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) dipped in the period. Rate of supplies by the two coal companies to the CEA monitored power stations stood at 80.4 per cent, indicating a shortfall of 19.6 per cent against the allocated quantity.

According to the study by CARE Ratings, total coal supplied by CIL and SCCL to the power sector stood at 315.9 million tonnes (mt) during April-October as against 328.5 mt in the comparable period of last fiscal year.

The study noted that growth in power generation during the April-October 2019 was on account of higher demand from Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana or Saubhagya Scheme beneficiary states. Providing connection to households in order to achieve 100% per cent electrification has in part helped the sector avert de-growth.

Large states namely Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, West Bengal and Rajasthan have recorded over five per cent growth in consumption of power. These states along with Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Assam accounted for 75 per cent of the beneficiaries under the Saubhagya Scheme (Household Electrification Scheme). The ongoing economic downturn has led to decline in power consumption/demand from industrialised states. Maharashtra, which is also the largest power consuming state in India, recorded a decline in consumption of 5.6 per cent.

Other states namely Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Gujarat and Odisha too recorded fall in power consumed. These states house large clusters of mining, automobile, cement and other manufacturing industries, and a decline in these sectors led to fall in demand for power across these states. - The demand-supply gap or power deficit has remained at 0.6 per cent during the April-October 2019. North-East reported 4.8 per cent of power deficit followed by Northern Region at 1.3 per cent. Within Northern Region, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh accounted for 65 per cent and 30 per cent respectively of the regions power supply deficit.


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