Stocks

Coal stocks at non-pithead plants low at 26% of normative level

NEW DELHI: Coal stocks at non-pithead thermal power plants remained consistently low during the last week till Thursday at 26 per cent of the normative levels, showing shortage of the dry fuel amid rising electricity demand due to scorching heat.
Experts are of the view that coal shortage can lead to a possible electricity crisis and there is a need to scale up supplies as 26 per cent of the normative level of coal at non-pithead thermal power plants is not a good sign.
Non-pithead thermal power plants are situated at a distance from coal mines and stocks at these plants assume significance.
According to the latest data of the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), coal stocks were 26 per cent of the normative levels at 155 pit head thermal power plants with total generation capacity of about 163 GW from Monday (April 18) to Thursday (April 21).
The CEA monitors coal stocks at 173 power plants with total generation capacity of about 202 GW that include 18 pit-head projects with a total generation capacity of about 39 GW.
The pithead thermal power plants are situated near the coal mines and generally there are no issues with coal supplies there.
The data showed that coal stocks were 14,610 thousand tonnes (26 per cent) at 155 non-pit head plants against the normative level of 57,033 thousand tonnes on Thursday April 21, 2022.
The data showed that the coal stock situation has deteriorated at non-pit head plants as it was better a month ago. Coal stocks were 31 per cent, 17,752 thousand tonnes of the normative level of 57,616 thousand tonnes at 155 non-pit head plants on March 21.
According to the latest data of national grid operator Power System Operation Corporation, the peak power demand met or the highest supply in a day was around 197GW while the peak shortage of electricity was 6 GW on Friday, April 22, 2022.
The peak power demand met was around 167GW while the peak shortage of electricity was 0.63 GW on April 22, 2021.
Experts said that data clearly indicate that the demand has shot up by 30GW or over 17 per cent due to early onset of summers.
They are of the view that the demand would further increase and sufficient coal stocks at thermal power plants essential especially during summer season.
They think that the power demand would also rise due to improvement in economic activities which would push upwards commercial and industrial demand.
Earlier the commercial and industrial demand dipped due to the affect of lockdown restrictions imposed by states to curb the deadly coronavirus.



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