India's coal output soared by 28 percent to 66.1 million tonnes in April amid high demand from thermal power plants as several parts of the country grappled with power shortages.
The overall coal production was at 51.6 million tonnes (MT) in April 2021.
''During April 2022 India's total coal production stood at 661.54 lakh tons (66.1 MT),'' the coal ministry said in a statement. While Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries produced 53.4 MT of coal, production by Singareni Colleries Company Ltd (SCCL) stood at 5.3 MT and by captive mines at 7.3 MT during the last month.
According to the provisional data of the Ministry of Coal, while the total offtake of the coal sector was 70.8 MT during the month, the power sector offtake touched 61.7 MT in April.
At the same time, coal supplies to the power sector from Coal India alone stood at 49.7 MT.
Coal supplies to the power sector by CIL were 15.6 percent higher in the last month on yearly basis in the wake of the high demand for dry fuel from electricity generating plants.
The coal ministry stressed that it is planning to augment its dispatches further, especially to power plants in the coming months.
With a higher output, CIL is aiming to increase its dispatches further, especially to power plants in the coming months.
Coal India, which accounts for over 80 percent of domestic coal output, is one of the major suppliers of fossil fuels to the power sector.
On average, the PSU supplied 1.66 MT of coal per day to power utilities in April which increased to 1.73 MT during last week.
The average supply per day is at par with what was programmed by CIL for this sector during the first quarter of FY23.
The coal production by the PSU also rose 27.6 percent to 53.5 MT last month over 41.9 MT in April 2021.
CIL's total offtake rose sharply to 57.5 MT in April, registering 6 percent growth compared to 54.2 MT in the same month last year.
The government had earlier said that the current power crisis is mainly on account of the sharp decline in electricity generation from different fuel sources and not due to the non-availability of domestic coal.
Coal Secretary A K Jain had attributed the low coal stocks at power plants to several factors such as heightened power demand due to the boom in the economy post-COVID-19, the early arrival of summer, a rise in the price of gas and imported coal, and sharp fall in electricity generation by coastal thermal power plants.
(With inputs from PTI)