Peak power demand in the country dipped over 28% to 117.76 gigawatts (GW) on Saturday (March 28, 2020) as compared to 163.72 GW on March 20, showing the impact of nationwide lockdown amid COVID-19 outbreak. National Load Dispatch Centre data showed that in actual terms, the peak power demand met has come down by about 46 GW since March 20.
Amid concerns that Coal India Ltd may fall short of its 660 million tonne production target for the current fiscal, the miner has planned to ramp up daily output to meet the goal, officials said. Till December, the miner is expected to produce close to 390 million tonnes of coal and will require another 270 million tonnes in the last quarter of this fiscal to meet the annual production target.
The government said it is working to ensure critical coal supplies during the lockdown. Coal stocks at power plants stand at 41.8 million tonnes equivalent to 24 days consumption as of March 26, 2020. The minister informed that various steps have been taken to ensure the easy and adequate availability of coal to every coal dependent industry/Power Sector.
Coal India Limited has extended the deadlines for submission of documents by successful bidders for its recently concluded short-term supply contract auctions while state-run e-commerce company MSTC has postponed a long-term coal supply contract auction scheduled for March 27 by more than one month. Both the auctions are for supplies to the power sector. Bidding for the long-term auction was postponed to April 16.