25% increase in coal stock despite high electricity demand

Official figures indicate that there is an adequate supply of coal for thermal power plants, even if daily records are being broken for electricity consumption. Coal inventories reached 147 million tonne (MT) as of May 15, 25% more than the same period last year, according to statistics from the coal ministry. Compared to the 117 MT recorded on the same day in 2023, this is a considerable increase. The total amount of coal stock consists of coal in transit, coal at pitheads (mines), and coal in thermal power plants.

The ministry credits higher investments in coal production and capital expenditures (capex) for the increase in coal inventories. “With respect to TPP (thermal power plant) end stock, as of May 15, 45 MT of coal is available, which is a 29% increase from a stock of 34.83 MT on the same day last year,” the ministry said.

It went on to say that coal inventories at Coal India mining pitheads had increased by 30% year over year to 85 MT.

Due to the extreme heatwave that is affecting several regions of India, the country’s electricity consumption has been rising. Furthermore, it is probably going to become worse since the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) says the heatwave will linger for the next five days throughout the plains of northwest, east, and central India.

The coal ministry reports that thermal power generation is up 8.78% and coal output is expanding at a rate of 7.26% over the previous year. Furthermore, rake supplies—which transport coal to power plants—have improved by 8.45% from the previous fiscal year’s same time.

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