The Ministry of Coal says there is a substantial surge in overall coal production during February 2024, with 96.60 million tonnes (MT) of provisional coal production, compared to 86.38 MT of the corresponding month in the previous year, representing an increase of 11.83%. The cumulative coal production (up to February 2024) has also seen a quantum jump to 880.72 MT in FY24 as compared to 785.39 MT during the same period of FY23, with a growth of 12.14%.

The lead producer, Coal India Limited (CIL)'s production rose to 74.76 MT in February, compared to 68.78 MT in the previous year's same month, with a growth of 8.69%.

The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data shows all India power generation was about 128.01 billion units (BU) of electricity in January, of which 117.49 BU was generated from thermal plants. In April-May of 2023, coal receipts and consumption were about 130-140 MT. In all India power supplies, peak demand in December 2023 was about 2.1 lakh megawatts, which is expected to increase in the months of summer, according to sources.

The Ministry of Coal also says coal dispatch, which was an issue in many of the previous summers due to logistics shortcomings, witnessed a significant boost in February 2024. About 84.78 MT of coal has been dispatched to coal-fired plants, compared to 74.61 MT recorded in February 2023, with a growth rate of 13.63%.

Coal India dispatched 65.3 MT in February 2024, compared to 58.28 MT in February 2023, representing a growth of 12.05 %. The cumulative coal dispatch (up to February 2024) has increased to 882.44 MT in FY24, as compared to 794.41 MT during the corresponding period in FY23, with a growth of 11.08%.

Meanwhile, Torrent Power Limited (TPL) says it has won a contract from NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited (NVVN) under the govt’s 'crunch period scheme' to overcome high power demand during summer. The power ministry, through NVVN as a nodal agency, had come up with the crunch / high-demand period scheme last year to harness 4000 MW from gas-generating units to overcome power shortages during summer and certain months after monsoon.

As per terms of the agreement between NVVN and TPL, 770 MW capacity has been contracted with a minimum 388 million units (MUs) of guaranteed power to be supplied from March 16 to June 30, 2024 period. The actual offtake of power, in addition to the minimum guaranteed, will depend on the power demand as encountered during the approaching summer, says Torrent.

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