Coal shortage at thermal power plants is lingering on, with 59 non-pit head projects having the dry fuel stocks for less than four days as on Wednesday, according to official data.
The number of such projects having less than four days of coal (supercritical stock) stood at 61 on October 19, the latest data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) showed. The count of the plants having supercritical stocks was at 64 on October 13.
The latest figures indicate that the coal shortage situation is improving slowly. CEA monitors the coal stock situation of 135 thermal power plants with cumulative generation capacity of over 165 GW.
As per the data, the number of power plants with zero days of coal has come down to 15 as on Wednesday with cumulative installed generation capacity of 16,280 MW compared to 17 projects with 17,050 MW capacity a week back.
The number of plants with one day of coal stocks came down to 21 with 25,810 MW capacity as on October 20 as against 27 projects with 36,140 MW capacity as on October 13.
Plants with two days of coal decreased to 18 (with 23,814 MW capacity) from 20 (22,175 MW) a week ago.
According to the data, the number of plants with three days of coal stood at 19 (with 26,770 MW capacity) as against 14 (20,734 MW) a week ago.
Further, the count of plants with four days of coal declined to 13 with 16,275 MW capacity as on Wednesday, from 14 with 17,680 MW capacity a week ago.
As on October 20, the number of plants with five days of coal stood at 8 (5,932 MW capacity) as against 12 (12,765 MW) a week ago. Data from the power ministry showed improvement in the power shortage situation as it came down to 4,454 MW on October 20 from 5,621 MW on October 13.
Experts opined that power demand would further moderate with the onset of winter. The coal stock situation at power plants would further improve in the coming days with the government's efforts to scale up supplies, they added.
Earlier, the power ministry said that capacity of units under outage due to low coal stocks reduced from 11 GW on October 12 to 5 GW on October 14.