Indian railways prioritises coal transport to meet power plants’ needs

Ministry of coal said there was sufficient stock of coal and ministry of power & ministry of railways are working together to ensure sufficient stock at all the thermal power stations at all times

Coal stock

New Delhi: The Indian railways has added as many as 1018 freight locomotives to its fleet augment coal supplies to the power sector this fiscal. Officials said that more freight locomotives would join the railways fleet in coming months.

Coal transportation by the railways in terms of tonnage and net tone kilometre (NTKM) has already been increased by 11.92 % and 24.51 % in this current fiscal (upto Feb). Loading of rakes for power sector from various sources in the current fiscal (April-Feb) is 408 rakes per day against 344 rakes per day in last year i.e. an increase of 64 rakes per day, stated railway ministry in a press statement.

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In the month of February 2023, 426.3 rakes per day have been loaded for power plants against 399 rakes per day in February last year, i.e. increases of 27.3 rakes. In order to meet the projected demand for rakes by the power sector in the coming fiscal, the railways has taken more initiatives.

Officials of the railway ministry said that higher induction of coal carrying wagons – 7692 BOXNHL and 1052 BOBRN wagons have been inducted during April-22 to January-23. Around 32,534 BOXNHL and 2450 BOBRN wagons indents pending.

About 4500 Kms of new tracks is expected to be commissioned in 2022-23, majority of which is on coal carrying routes. This will further improve turnaround of coal carrying rakes.

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Keeping in view the rising demand in the next few years, a comprehensive planning of the energy corridor has been done with planned investment of 1 lakh crores ranging over around 100 projects.

Sufficient coal available for power plants: Coal ministry

Ministry of coal on Thursday stated that as on March 9, over 100 million tons of domestic coal is available in the country (64 million tons at mine pithead, 6 million tons in transit at good sheds, washery & ports and 31 million tons at the thermal power plants).

Current average daily consumption of coal for the power plants is 2.3 million tons per day. Accordingly, the current coal stock in the country is sufficient for about 44 days.

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Further, the current daily production of coal in the country is around 3.3 million tons a day from Coal India Limited, SCCL and captive mines, which is much more than the daily consumption at the thermal power plants.

Ministry of coal, ministry of power and ministry of railways are working together to ensure sufficient stock at all the thermal power stations at all times.

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