At the end of COVID-19-hit 2020-21, Coal India Ltd”s (CIL) silver lining, amid output and offtake challenges, came in the form of curbing coal imports to the tune of 90 million tonnes (MT), the public sector undertaking said in a statement.
Also, beating the previous estimates, the state-owned coal major booked an all-time high of 124 MT in its e-auctions.
Sustaining its growth trajectory throughout the fiscal, over burden removal (OBR) logged 17 per cent growth easing the way for faster future production, the statement said.
OB is the extraneous material that overlays the coal seam, removal (OBR) of which makes the dry fuel”s production easier.
“In the absence of our import substitution measures through a host of concessions and benefits, the customers would have had no alternative than to source coal from imports. In that, it was a productive and timely move,” the company said.
The company opened a new window exclusively for coal importers in October last year.
CIL allowed its subsidiaries to sign memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with 17 power plants linked to them to substitute their imports with its own coal, for blending.
Additional coal was allocated to central and state power generation companies (gencos), under flexi-utilisation, enabling them avert coal imports.
Annual contracted quantity (ACQ) for power plants was enhanced to 100 per cent of normative requirement from 90 per cent. Increased quantities of coal was offered to non-regulated sectors against fuel supply agreements (FSAs) up to 100 per cent of ACQ.
Trigger level for the power sector was elevated from 75 per cent to 80 per cent. Increased bookings in auctions were a major booster in import substitution efforts.
While these actions cumulatively helped the power sector opt for domestic coal to the tune of 42 MT, non-regulated sector (NRS) picked up bulk of the rest.
CIL set a new high in booking 124 MT of coal under five e-auction windows in 2020-21 eclipsing the previous record of 113.6 MT achieved in 2016-17.
Compared with 66 MT booked in 2019-20, CIL logged a strong 88 per cent growth in auction bookings. In absolute terms, the increase is 58 MT.
CIL produced 596.2 MT of coal ending 2020-21 against 602.1 MT produced in 2019-20, while the offtake was 573.8 MT compared to 581.4 MT.
“Despite our best efforts, there was marginal contraction in output and offtake by per cent and 1.3 per cent, respectively, on a year-on-year comparison due to coronavirus-led lack of demand,” the company said.
Primarily what hurt CIL”s supplies was reduced coal lifting by the power sector and a steep 31 per cent fall in road transport despite our best efforts for conversion from road to rail during the pandemic-induced lockdown.
Coordinated efforts with railways witnessed loading from CIL”s own sources go up 11 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
“The shrinkage in supplies could have been more had not for the spate of actions and sops offered to our customers,” the company said.
The lack of demand also led to a stockpile of 99 MT at CIL pitheads. Further production would have resulted in stocks building up even higher. On the positive side with the expected demand revival during summer months of the first quarter, the company has sufficient buffer to meet any surge and the stocks would be reduced substantially.
CIL accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal output. PTI SID HRS
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI