India has recorded a substantial growth in coal production during the current fiscal year, defying challenges posed by unprecedented rainfall in coal-producing states earlier in the season.
According to data released by the Ministry of Coal, coal production in the country has surged by 12.81% compared to the same period last year as of October 28, 2023. The growth is attributed to various factors, with different segments of the coal industry contributing to this upward trend.
The data reveals that Coal India Limited (CIL), one of the leading players in the sector, registered a growth of 11.90%. Meanwhile, the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) saw a 7.82% increase in coal production, and captive and commercial mines experienced a remarkable growth of 20.94%.
The overall supply of coal has also shown an impressive growth of 11.70%. In particular, the supply to the power sector, which is a crucial aspect of the country's energy infrastructure, has increased by 7.87% compared to the same period last year.
To boost coal production, the Ministry of Coal has taken proactive steps, such as improving evacuation logistics for railways, including the newly commissioned Dedicated Freight Corridors. Companies such as Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), and Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) have recorded significant growth rates of 18.70%, 17.60%, 13.90%, and 18.00%, respectively.
After facing challenges due to unprecedented rainfall in coal-producing states earlier in October, coal production has regained momentum in the past 15 days. During this period, the total production from all sources has exceeded 26.40 lakh tonnes per day.
Moreover, as of October 28, 2023, the total coal stock at mine ends and in transit has reached 53.23 million tonnes, marking a 42.32% increase compared to the same period last year.
Importantly, the usage of imported coal for blending has decreased, with 13.5 million tonnes consumed for blending as opposed to 20.8 million tonnes during the same period in the previous year, indicating a 35% reduction.
The trend of coal stocks at thermal power plant ends, which showed depletion earlier, has reversed in the last 10 days, with an upward trend indicating that coal supply is currently exceeding consumption at thermal power plants. This is an encouraging sign for the energy sector.