The supply of coal to the power sector by state-owned CIL registered a decline of 8% to 42.30 million tonne in March in the wake of slump in the fuel demand due to lockdown. CIL dispatched 45.84 million tonne (MT) of coal in the corresponding month of 2018-19, the coal ministry said. In 2019-20, the supply of fuel by Coal India Ltd (CIL) to the power sector dropped by 6% to 463 MT as compared to 491.5 MT in 2018-19.
Amid the COVID-19 lockdown, renewable power generation remained unaffected due to their ‘must-run’ status while electricity from thermal sources were impacted most due to a decline in power demand in March and April 2020, according to a recent report by Indian Ratings.
It added that with the decrease in demand, electricity generation excluding renewables also decreased 8.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) to 97.7 billion units (BU) in March 2020 with thermal generation declining 11.1% y-o-y. According to the report thermal plant load factor (PLF) declined to 52.6% in March 2020 on account of the lower demand.
Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), has offered a flexible route of spot e-auction of coal to provide immediate financial relief to consumers and give them an opportunity to plan their post-lockdown coal requirement. An official statement by WCL said the volume of coal offered is 3.5 million tonnes which are higher in comparison to normal spot auction. Normally, spot auction is being done with coal lifting period of 45 days only and coal offered is below 1 million tonnes.
The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has once again extended the bid submission deadline for its 4-megawatt (MW) floating solar power plant with battery storage system in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The last date of bid submission is hereby extended till 18 May, 2020. The techno-commercial bid opening shall be carried out on 21 May, 2020, SECI said in a notification. The earlier deadline was 4 May.
Domestic rating agency ICRA estimated that the country’s GDP might contract by as much as 20% in the June quarter and is expected to overcome some lost ground in the remainder of the year but still close 2020-21 down by up to 2%.