Coal India Ensuring Supply To Power Plants After Rain Hits Production
A freight train laden with coal stands on the tracks in Paradeep, Odisha, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Coal India Ensuring Supply To Power Plants After Rain Hits Production

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With torrential rains hitting coal production, Coal India Ltd. on Wednesday said it is keeping a close watch on the current situation to ensure supplies to power plants.

As on Sept. 30, the state-owned major said coal stock at power plants stood around 17.3 million tonne, which is sufficient for 11 days.

Coal India, which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic production, saw its output decline by 6 percent to 241 MT in April-September on account of monsoon.

“Coal India is gearing up to regain its production tempo and keep coal supplies to power sector going after the torrential rainfall across its subsidiaries dealt a crippling blow to the company's coal production and offtake,” the company said in a statement.

Also read: Coal India Output Sinks to Record Low as Monsoons Flood Mines

Its offtake during April-September of the current fiscal was also down 5.2 percent to 275.75 MT.

“This year the monsoon severely dented our production especially in September, inundating our mines,” said an official of the company.

“The company has the resilience to bounce back and we are confident of getting back on track ramping up production and stepping up supplies by the end of the month,” it added.

Coal India said a team of officials is closely monitoring coal supplies to power plants and is working on plans to divert and rush in coal to fuel-starved plants.

“Coal stock at power plants as of Sept. 30 stood around 17.3 MT which is 6.3 MT more stock than the same period last year which is sufficient for 11 days. The number of plants having critical level of stock was down to four compared to the last year same day's figure of 22 units,” the statement said.

The company said the downpour was devastating and production from a number of high yielding open cast mines like Gevra, Dipka and Rajmahal was almost reduced to a trickle due to inundating rain.

Adding further to the company’s woes, on Sept. 29 a non-perennial, seasonal river Lilagarh breached its embankment and flooded the lower benches of Dipka opencast mine of South Eastern Coalfields Ltd., one of the largest open cast mines of CIL with a production capacity of 35 million tonne per annum.

However, the company said SECL has resumed coal production in Dipka on Oct. 2. Dipka has produced 23,000 tonne of coal on October 8 and it is expected to increase gradually, it said.

Over burden removal, an important activity that exposes coal seam for future production is restoring to normal levels, the company said and added that around 6 pumps are working for dewatering of the mine with more expected to press into action.

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