India’s coal production increased by 32.57% to 67.59 million ton (MT) from 50.98 MT during June, 2022 compared to June 2021. As per the provisional statistics of the Ministry of Coal, during June this year, Coal India Ltd (CIL), Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) and captive mines registered a growth of 28.87%, 5.50% and 83.53% by producing 51.56 MT, 5.56 MT and 10.47 MT respectively. Of the top 37 coal mines as many as 22 mines produced more than 100% and production of another nine mines stood between 80 and 100%.
At the same time, coal despatch increased by 20.69% to 75.46 MT from 62.53 MT during June, 22 as compared to last year during the same period. During June 22, CIL and others coal mines registered a growth of 15.20% and 88.23% by despatching 58.98 and 11.05 MT respectively. But SCCL registered a negative growth of 0.46% during the month.
The power utilities despatch has grown by 30.77% to 64.89 MT during June this year as compared to 49.62 MT in June 21 due to increase in power demand. Coal-based power generation has registered a growth of 26.58% in June 2022 compared to June 2021. The overall power generation in June 2022 has been 17.73% higher than last year. However, coal-based power generation in the month of June 2022 has been 95,880 million units (MU) in comparison to 98,609 MU in May 2022 and registered a negative growth of 2.77 %. Total power generation has also decreased in June 2022 to 138,995 MU from 140,059 MU in May 2022 and registered a negative growth of 0.76 %.
It might be recalled that in October last year and again in April and May this year, stocks in coal-based power plants ran critically low. In October 2021, in more than 50% of the coal-fired power plants out 135 across the country fell below the 25% stock limit and this year in 108 power plants, once again, coal stocks ran critically low. In some of the power plants, critical coal stock came down to three days’ worth of storage. As a result large parts of India witness extended power cuts in the sweltering heat.
Part of the blame was put on the sharp rise in temperatures in April and May, which led to increased consumption of electricity. It was reported that the country faced one of the worst power crises in recent years due to the failure of the coal companies and power plants to accurately forecast power demand that was already on the rise due to the increase in economic activity after the pandemic.