Steady supply lifts coal-fired power output to new high

NTPC CMD Arup Roy Choudhury leads growth of generation from 584.787 bn units in 2011-12 to 659.231 bn units in 2012-13

Coal-fired power generation in the country grew by 12.73 % in 2012-13. This is the highest ever growth, say industry watchers. Electricity generation (from all sources) rose four percent in the period compared to the previous year. Coal-based power generation grew from 584.787 billion units in 2011-12 to 659.231 billion units in 2012-13, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data show.

“Last year, the capacity addition as well as generation was higher. Generation was higher because Coal India nearly met its commitment. It was in the last few days that some problems happened, otherwise Coal India would have over-achieved its dispatch to power companies,” Power Secretary P. Uma Shankar informed.

At present, Coal India supplies fuel to 92 of the 99 coal-fired power stations in the country that sustains 1,02,438 MW of installed electricity generation capacity. India had a total of 1,30,370.89 MW of coal-fired capacity as on April 30, 2013.

The public sector miner could achieve 32.10 million tonnes of incremental coal off-take in 2012-13. This is the highest ever jump in a single year for Coal India. Thermal power utilities of the country were major beneficiaries of this increase as coal supplies to them rose by additional 33.36 million tonnes compared to the previous year.

Capacity addition

Arup Roy Choudhury, chairman and managing director, NTPC, said that increase in generation is attributable to capacity addition. Coal generation capacity grew 16.25% to 1,30,221 MW in 2012-13 from 1,12,022 MW in the previous year. “Yes, Coal India supply has marginally helped in more generation. Coal supply to NTPC from Coal India grew 14% in 2012-13. At the same time, the capacity growth of NTPC was around 11%,” Choudhury informed. Coal India supplies to all power utilities during 2012-13 grew by 10.7% at 345.43 million tonnes in 2012-13 against 312.07 million tonnes in the previous year. The increase in coal dispatch was primarily due to almost 13 million tonnes of ground stocks being liquidated and better coordination with the Railways, resulting in more rakes being loaded.

During the last financial year, Coal India’s average loading per day increased by 18.7 rakes. On average, 186.4 rakes were loaded per day against 167.7 rakes/day in the previous year. For 2013-14, Coal India has set an off-take target of 492 million tonnes, which is 27 million tonnes higher than last year. The miner is looking to supply 377 million tonnes to power utilities in the current fiscal. To achieve the target, the Maharatna firm would liquidate 18 million tonnes of pithead stock and has sought 212.2 rakes a day.

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