Coal India eyes road route to augment supply to customers
New Delhi: In order to overcome supply hurdles, state-run Coal India is looking at effective utilisation of road network to deliver dry fuel to customers, specially power plants, a source said.
With the rail network at its best carrying 320 rakes of fuel from coal pitheads to power plants every day, the road network can help boost supplies to power producers as a short-term measure.
"Coal India is ready to supply fuel through the network of roads. Coal India at present has a stock of 50 million tonnes (MT)," the source said.
According to the company data, offtake during the April-February period was at 525 MT against the target of 541 MT.
Coal dispatches to consumers in various sectors, including power, were 12 MT through road network in April-October 2017-18.
"Not all what is produced is supplied even when the demand is rising," the source said adding that there is neither shortage of coal nor lack of demand from power producers but the power plants are unable to get coal because of supply issue.
"The installed capacity of thermal power plants in India is 1.93 lakh MW and the demand for coal from these is rising."
Coal is transported from mines to power plants by railways and road network. Besides, it is also transported using merry-go-round train and belt conveyor system.
The country is heading towards becoming a power surplus nation. The demand for coal from power plants is also rising but due to the limited source of supply the plants at long distances from mines are facing supply issues which need to be addressed, another source said.
Railway lines cannot be laid down in short span of time, neither the merry-go-round train and belt conveyor system can be developed.
It is the roads which can be built earlier than the other three ways and Coal India is eyeing this mode to supply coal, the source said.