Despite the fact that several states looked into the possibility of power outages due to a severe shortage of coal during the period September-October 2021, between April 2021 and January 2022, dry fuel imports had fallen to the level of 173.32 million tons . compared to 180.56 million tons during the corresponding period last year, even though production was robust.
According to official data from the Ministry of Coal, coal imports by the electricity sector had fallen to 22.73 million tons during the same period April 2021-January 2022, compared to 39.01 million tons during the corresponding period last year.
The reduction in imports showed that the country had ample domestic coal as the output is record-breaking.
Earlier this month, Coal India Limited, the largest supplier of dry fuel in the country, had said in a statement that 2021-22 has proved to be a year of high performance, having broken a string of previous records.
CIL had said it is trying to meet its production target of 670 million tons in the current fiscal year.
But in the months of September and October of 2021, as many as five states namely Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu faced acute coal shortages and resorted to scheduled power outages to avoid the possibility of power outages. .
In addition, some plants were left with the supply of only two days of dry fuel, while under normal circumstances this stock amounts to a maximum of 15 days.
The shortage of coal during that period was the result of heavy rainfall in coal-bearing areas in September 2021, which hindered movement to power generation units, degrading power supplies in these states.
Also, an unprecedented increase in the price of imported coal had led to a significant reduction in electricity generation from imported coal-fired power plants.
This is why during the current fiscal period, witnessing record coal production and a sharp drop in imports came as a shock to major states facing power shortages.
Meanwhile, coal imports by the electricity sector fell from 69.22 million tons in 2019-20 to 45.47 million tons in 2020-21, according to official data.
The share of dry fuel supply by Coal India Limited, which accounted for approximately 60.8 percent of total coal consumption in 2019-20, rose to 63.3 percent in 2020-21 and further to 64.3 percent in 2021-22 (April-January 2022).