In order to increase the coal availability in the country, state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) has floated an international tender to source the dry fuel from abroad. It is an e-tender that seeks bids for import of about 2.42 million tonnes of coal. The last date for the receipt of bids is June 29.
“In a first ever, Coal India Limited on Wednesday floated an international competitive bidding e-tender, seeking bids for import of 2.416 million tonnes (MTs) of coal,” the company said in a statement.
It added that though coal import is uncharted terrain for CIL, within a week of receiving indents from the 7 state gencos (generating companies) and 19 IPPs (independent power plants), for a total of 2.416 MTs of coal, the company on a war footing has finalised and floated the tender.
CIL’s board had last week approved the issuance of two international tenders — a short-term and a medium-term — for sourcing coal from overseas. The current short-term tender for the import of dry fuel for the second quarter of the ongoing financial year is source agnostic. This means the coal can be sourced from any country.
The government has earlier directed the company to be prepared to import 12 million tonnes of coal for power utilities for the next 13 months. The power ministry had on May 18 warned that if orders for coal imports are not placed by May 31 and the imported fuel does not start arriving at power plants by June 15, the defaulter gencos will have to increase their imports to the extent of 15 per cent.
Recently, various parts of the country faced electricity cuts. Punjab, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh mainly faced the issue. It was mainly due to low coal availability at the power plants and high demand during the summer season.
Peak power shortage recently rose swiftly from a single digit of 5.24 GW to touch a double-digit of 10.77 GW, showing the effects of various factors like low coal stocks at generation plants, heatwave and other issues on the deepening electricity crisis.
Delhi’s peak power demand earlier last month clocked 6,194 MW; the highest peak power demand ever recorded in the first week of May. In April also, Delhi saw a peak of 6,197 MW, an all-time high for the month of April ever.
Coal Production in India
India’s coal production increased by 33.9 per cent to 71.30 million tonnes (MT) from 53.25 MT during May 2022 as compared to May 2021. According to the provisional data of the Ministry of Coal, during May 2022, CIL, SCCL and captive mines/ others registered a growth of 30.04 per cent, 11.01 per cent and 83.33 per cent by producing 54.72 MT, 6.04 MT and 10.54 MT, respectively.
At the same time, coal dispatch increased by 16.05 per cent to 77.83 MT from 67.06 MT during May, 2022 as compared to May 20. Last month, CIL, SCCL and captives/others registered a growth of 11.34 per cent, 5.66 per cent and 67.06 per cent by dispatching 61.24 MT, 6.13 MT and 10.46 MT respectively.
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