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Government hope coal sector in 2018 on demand upswing

Coal News - Published on Wed, 03 Jan 2018

Image Source: ET
Economic Times reported that government is looking at 2018 with renewed optimism for the coal sector in the wake of demand upturn and expecting 6-7 % growth in supply of the dry fuel next year. Also, the government is hopeful of a better show by state-owned Coal India, which is expected to achieve an output of 600 million tonnes in 2017-18. Mr Susheel Kumar Coal Secretary told PTI in an interview that in 2017, there has been a resumption in demand for coal and this has been the greatest difference from the last year.

Bottlenecks in coal supply to power plants turned out to be a big issue this year.

While power producers held the coal ministry responsible for inadequate coal supply, the latter blamed the former for the low stock of fuel at plants.

The secretary said that "Because in 2016, we did not see any demand for coal, that's why all the year (2017), we were requesting power plants to take supplies. This year, they have been in the overdrive and we have been trying to cope with."

The coal ministry went to the extent of saying that there was no shortage of the dry fuel and power plants should have adhered to the Central Electricity Authority's guidelines for stocking of coal.

Mr Kumar stressed that "Next year, I see further increase of demand and I see a better performance by Coal India because now, they have realised that whatever was the position in 2016 is not the normal. Normal is what 2017 is."

The secretary said that "So... I am sure that in the remaining months of the year (2017-18) and 2018, we would see robust demand and good supplies."

Hoping that coal supply will grow at 6-7 % in 2017-18 compared to 2016-17, he predicted that 2018-19 will see a more improved performance.

In October, the Karnataka government had asked the Centre to ensure adequate supply of coal and early allocation of a coal block in Odisha to meet the severe fuel shortage faced by power units.

In the same month, Rajasthan Urja Vikas Nigam had said that power generation at thermal power stations had reduced by 2,700 MW due to shortage of coal, forcing it to resort to load shedding in the state.

Asserting that the bottlenecks in logistics pose a challenge in the year ahead, the secretary said "this year, we have been able to ramp up supply, but it cannot be the case forever".

Source :

Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Wed, 03 Jan 2018
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