Even as the union government battles to secure fuel for thermal power plants in the country, six states, including Punjab and Haryana, have asked state-run Coal India to restrain supplies.
"Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have asked Coal India not to supply coal more than the registered quantity or more than the trigger level as there are no takers for the coal produced," a source told PTI.
Coal India is incentivised if it supplies fuel more than the trigger level, in this case 90%, as the Fuel Supply Agreements were signed before March 2010. The lack of demand for coal can also be linked to lesser demand for electricity during the monsoon in general and power from thermal projects in particular, as rains have improved hydroelectric power production, the source said.
As per official estimates, the coal requirement during the current fiscal for the power sector is estimated at 548 million tonnes (MT).
Of the domestic availability during the current fiscal, 377 MT is likely to come from Coal India, 36 MT from Singareni Collieries Company (SCCL) and 28 MT from captive coal blocks.
As per latest Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data (August 4), only seven power stations have coal stocks for less than a week as compared to last month's (July 4) figure of 10 power stations.
A couple of months ago, some state utilities, including Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL), West Bengal Power Development Corporation Limited (WBPDCL) and Damodar Valley Corporation had expressed their reservation in accepting costlier fuel from Coal India.