The Ministry of Coal has reaffirmed that there is a sufficient supply of coal to meet the increasing energy demand in the country. This assurance is backed by the efficient supply of coal to thermal power plants, which has resulted in robust coal stockpiles at various pitheads. This combination of ample coal reserves and an efficient supply chain ensures the smooth distribution of coal across the nation.
Furthermore, there has been a significant increase in thermal power generation, with a 6.58 percent rise, reaching 517.34 billion units (BU) from April to August 2023 compared to 485.42 BU during the same period in the previous year.
Regarding coal dispatch to the power sector, the cumulative achievement for the fiscal year 2023 from April to August amounted to 324.50 million tons, marking a growth of 5.80 percent compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, which stood at 306.70 million tons.
The overall coal stock position, including mines, thermal power plants, and transit locations as of August 31, 2023, reached 86.00 million tons, showing a notable growth of 25.08 percent compared to the stock of 68.76 million tons on August 31, 2022. Additionally, the pithead coal stock at Coal India Limited (CIL) as of August 31, 2023, stands at 45.33 million tons, indicating a significant increase of 45.66 percent compared to the coal stock of 31.12 million tons on August 31, 2022.
Importantly, there has been a remarkable 53.13 percent decline in the import of thermal coal for thermal power plants (for blending) from 19.2 million tons (April-August 2022) to 9.0 million tons (April-August 2023). This decline underscores the commitment to prioritize domestic coal production and achieve self-sufficiency in coal supply.
The Ministry of Coal is dedicated to promoting sustainable growth through strategic planning and efficient execution. To reduce dependence on imported mining equipment and boost domestic production, the Ministry is actively supporting the development of indigenous manufacturing capabilities for Heavy Earth Moving Machinery (HEMM) within the coal mining sector. These efforts align with the goals of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, emphasizing the ‘Make in India’ initiative for the coal mining sector.
As of August 2023, there were 487 coal mining projects entailing a total investment of Rs 3,90,839 crore. Nearly 91 percent of the total investment is proposed by the government owned coal mining companies. Private sector was involved in 102 mining projects with investment commitment of Rs 35,335 crore. In the recent years, participation by private mining companies has increased indicating their willingness to invest more domestically to reduce the import bills. The coal mining sector remains a crucial component of India’s energy and industrial landscape.
Moreover, the availability of coal rakes, essential for coal transportation, ensures a seamless evacuation process, effectively addressing transportation bottlenecks and guaranteeing uninterrupted coal supply. To further enhance coal production, the Ministry of Coal is establishing new mines, expediting environmental clearances, and adopting advanced mechanized Heavy Earth Moving Machinery (HEMM).