The demand for power has been increasing from August, 2021 onwards. In August, 2021, the power consumption was 124 Billion Unit (BU) whereas the consumption in August, 2019 (before the COVID period) was 106 BU. This was an increase of almost 18-20%. The increasing trend is persisting – the demand on 04.10.2021 was 1,74,000 MW – 15000 MW more than on the corresponding day in the previous year.
The increase in demand is a positive sign; it indicates that the economy is growing. It is also because more than 28 million homes were connected to electricity under the SAUBHAGYA Programme and all these new consumers are buying appliance like fans, coolers, TVs etc.
There was continuous rain in the coal bearing areas in the months of August and September, 2021 leading to lower desptach from coal mines in this period. However, the despatches have picked-up again. On the 04.10.2021 the total number of rakes dispatched was 263 which is 15 rakes more than the rakes dispatched on the 03.10.2021. It is expected that the despatches from coal lines will increase further.
The average stock of coal in power plants was for about four days on 03.10.2021. However, this is a rolling stock, the coal is dispatched through rakes every day from the coal mines to thermal power plants.
In order to manage the coal stock and ensure equitable distribution of coal, Ministry of Power constituted a Core Management Team (CMT) on 27.08.2021 comprising of representatives from MoP, CEA, POSOCO, Railways and Coal India Ltd (CIL) to ensure daily monitoring of the coal stocks and despatches. The CMT is closely monitoring and managing the coal stocks on daily basis and ensuring follow up actions with Coal India and Railways to improve the coal supply to power plants.