Nagpur: Enough coal to last 17 days in country’s power plants | Nagpur News – Times of India

NAGPUR: With stock of 28.5 million tonnes of coal, thermal power plants across the country have enough coal to last for as many as 17 days, said Union coal secretary Anil Kumar Jain.
He was briefing newspersons after a visit to the Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) headquarters in the city. Mahagenco too has coal stock enough for 8 to 10 days. The stock may be slightly low, but it would not affect Mahagenco because most of its power plants are at mine pitheads, he said.
Coal India Limited’s (CIL) production is 20% higher than last year’s at 700 million tonnes, though rains have also affected mining in WCL, which is a subsidiary of CIL. The per day dispatch for Mahagenco through WCL has come down to 60,000 tonnes from 1.20 lakh tonnes due to rains, said the secretary. However, as rains are expected to come down, the production would resume, he said.
In a bid to deal with the actuarial loss in the coal workers’ pension scheme, there is a proposal to increase per ton charge payable by coal companies to the pension fund. Currently, Rs10 is paid per tonne of coal for contribution towards the pension fund. During the meeting at WCL on Tuesday, it was proposed to hike the amount to Rs20 a tonne. The proposal would be taken up before the coal minister. It is also planned to make the contribution on per tonne basis mandatory for all coal mining companies, including those in the private sector, said Jain.
Sources said the contribution is passed on to coal consumers. This means, the final rate of each tonne of coal includes Rs10 for the pension fund. This would be hiked to Rs20 subject to approvals.
Jain said so far, even though CIL was contributing, private companies were not. Once it is made mandatory, all mining companies will have to pay towards the pension fund, he said.
Employees’ pension in the coal sector is managed through Coal Mines Provident Fund (CMPF). However, losses of around Rs40,000 crore have been estimated in the pension fund. A fresh estimate would be made by appointing a new actuary, Jain said. Last year, around Rs600 crore were paid by CIL towards the contribution.
CIL chairman Pramod Agrawal said state-run generation companies owe as much as Rs10,000 crore to Coal India Limited (CIL). Mahagenco has among the highest dues at Rs2,000 crore.
Notice for coal gasification tenders
Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) has floated a notice inviting tenders for private partnership in a project to make ammonium nitrate through surface coal gasification .The project is coming up at Majri in Chandrapur district.

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