Centre aims 1 bn tonne coal output in next 4 yrs

Centre aims 1 bn tonne coal output in next 4 yrs

 The power ministry has set an ambitious target of achieving coal production of nearly one billion tonne in the next four years.

The decision comes at a time when coal stocks are dried up in most of the thermal power plants in the country due to poor supply of the fossil fuel.

Due to various reasons, coal production has been increasing by just 1 to 1.5 per cent per year in the country for the past ten years. However in the current fiscal, the production will see a jump of 6 per cent.

In the next four years, the government has set the target of producing one billion tonne in a year, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said here. Public sector undertaking Coal India Limited (CIL) is modernising its technology to enhance coal production and mining fuel in newly allotted blocks, he said.

Dismissing the apprehension of thermal power producing companies on severe shortage of fuel, the minister said the coal ministry will soon unveil a road map to increase the production taking the cue from the recent Supreme Court judgment on allotment of coal blocks. As per the latest data by the Central Electricity Authority, coal stocks at power plants have dipped to their lowest level in 25 years as supplies from Coal India have continuously been falling short of target.

Total fuel stocks at 103 coal-based stations have come down to around 73 lakh tonne. This 73 lakh tonne comprise 65.8 lakh tonne of indigenous coal and 7.06 lakh tonne of imported fuel. CIL set a target of producing 5,070 lakh tonne of fuel in this fiscal against the 4,620-lakh tonne dry fuel in the last fiscal. The total demand for coal in India, however, is over 720 million tonne in a year.