The latest government data available through May 17 shows daily output from national coal-fired power plants rose more than 31% to 3,244 MU (million units) this month, from 2,465 MU for the whole of month of May 2021.
Daily output from domestic coal-fired power plants that blended domestic fuel with imported coal more than doubled from CU143 during the period to CU66 recorded in May last year.
This justifies the Department of Energy’s decision to ask states and generation companies to import coal to supplement the availability of domestic fuel, as the growth in electricity demand far exceeds the increase in production, stretching the railway infrastructure to the limit.
Similarly, the surge in imports and the Department of Energy’s intervention to resolve trade issues between states with power purchase agreements with imported coal-fired power plants increased output from those power plants by 10% to 160 MU during the period under review, compared to 145 MU during the same period. month of 2021.
Overall, production based on imported coal increased by 43% to reach 303 UM against 211 UM in May 2021.
The real test of the measures put in place by the government is yet to come, as fuel stocks at power stations remain low. The Department of Energy predicts a peak in demand of 210 to 220 GW, likely between July and September, when the monsoon season impacts coal mining and shipping.