Coal import target fixed at 20 MT for power utilities

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) The Centre has received a request from West Bengal government for allocation of coal blocks to facilitate the operation of steel companies in the state, Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao told the Lok Sabha today.

In a written reply, Dr Rao said the Ministry has been receiving requests from the Government of West Bengal to meet the coal demand of the steel companies with committed investment for setting up end use plants in the State.

He said out of the 16 coal blocks required for allocation by the State Government, six with geological reserve of about 1307.17 Million Tonnes (MT) have already been allocated to West Bengal Mineral Development Trading Corporation to meet the requirement of various industries including those of steel companies.

Responding to another question, Dr Rao said there is no acute shortage of coal for Power Utilities in India. As against the Annual Action Plan (AAP) target of supply of 249.97 MT of coal to power utilities by Coal India Limited (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) during April, 2007 to January, 2008 the actual supply during this period was 255.71 MT (provisional) showing materialisation of about 102 per cent.

However, due to lesser materialisation as against quarterly planned movement of coal on account of loading/unloading and movement constraints, short-term production constraints in the linked source, there has been depletion of stocks at power plants.

In anticipation of this, it was decided by the Government that Ministry of Power would draw up a plan to import 20 MT of coal by power utilities in 2007-08 to improve availability of coal and build up coal stocks at power house end, Dr Rao said.

Moreover, due to various factors like increase in Plant Load Factor (PLF) and specific coal consumption, there has been a rise in consumption of coal by power plants.

Keeping in view the expected power generation target and projected coal production and also with a view to build up coal stocks at the power plants end, Ministry of Power has been advised to retain the current year's target of 20 MT for import during 2008-09 also by power utilities, he added.

UNI BKS MSJ KN1627

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