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NEW DELHI : India’s coal production increased by 10.35 % to 67.84 million tonnes (mt) in November from 61.47 mt in November 2019, the union coal ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

This comes in the backdrop of fuel stocks at coal-fuelled power projects building up after depleting to 7.23 million tonnes (mt) on 8 October. India’s power plants burn around 1.85-1.87 mt of coal every day to generate electricity.

“Additionally the total coal despatch of the country increased by 21.38% to 71.13MT during November. Out of the total production during Nov 2021, Coal India Ltd (CIL) achieved a growth of 7.60% by producing 53.80 MT, Singareni Collieries Ltd (SCCL) achieved a growth of 3.09% by producing 5.61 MT and captive blocks registered a growth of 39.68% by producing 8.43 MT of coal during November," the statement added.

The depleted fuel stocks at power plants had led to concerns about a possible electricity shortage. This assumes significance given that coal-fuelled power projects totalling 202.22 gigawatts (GW) remain the mainstay of India’s power generation and account for more than half of India’s power generation capacity.

"Total coal production up to November this fiscal stood at 353.40 Million Ton compared to 334.47MT during the previous year and 330.23 MT during the financial year 2020. At the same time, power sector despatch indicated a growth of 25.60% to 60.29 MT. Coal-based power generation during November this year has been 75620MU, indicating a growth of 8.56% in comparison to November 2019," the statement said.

India has the world’s fourth-largest reserves and is the second-largest producer of coal. While CIL’ annual production target is 660 mt for the current financial year, the coal off take is expected to be 740 mt.

“Of 35 top mines for coal production 9 mines produced more than100% and another 10 mines produced more than 80% but less than 100% during November this year as per the provisional statistics of Ministry of Coal," the statement added.

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