New Delhi: In view of weak demand for power in the country, the dispatch of coal by Coal India Ltd (CIL) to power sector declined by 12.7 percent to 26.4 million tonnes (MT) in August this year.
State-owned Coal India, which accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal production, dispatched 30.25 MT of coal in the same month last fiscal, according to government data.
Company's supply to power sector in the first five months of the current fiscal also dropped by two percent to 157 MT, against 160 MT in the corresponding period of previous fiscal.
Coal dispatch by Singareni Collieries Company (SCCL), declined by 9.4 percent to 3.6 MT in August 2016. SCCL is a coal mining firm jointly owned by Telangana and the Coal Ministry.
Expressing concerns over lack of power demand, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup wondered as to what would the government do with its ambitious 1 billion tonnes of production target for fossil fuel by 2020.
He had stressed upon the need to increase the demand for power. He had further said that the government is on a sticky-wicket where it doesn't know what to do with the surplus coal.
In fact, in the current financial year, there was cut down in coal production so the fossil fuel does not catch fire at the pit heads.
"On March 31 this year we had a balance of 56 MT as inventory at pitheads and around 32 MT at the power plants. People ask me how do you manage this situation of surplus," Swarup had said.
The official said that power sector constitutes to around 78 percent of CIL's overall coal off-take. Brimming over with coal has also led to stock piling up at pit-heads, a situation that CIL wants to avoid.