Coal India Ltd. (CIL) ended the first-half of the year on a positive note, achieving 96 per cent of the targeted production with an incremental output of 15 million tonnes. Between April and September, 2012, CIL produced 191.56 million tonnes, clocking an 8.5 per cent growth rate.
The performance contrasts with a nearly decade-long trend of the country’s largest coal producer losing production to monsoons. CIL lost nearly 26 million tonnes in the same period in 2011-12 due to heavy rains. This August too, production was lost due to rains and between August and September first week, CIL lost 5 million tonnes.
CIL drew down on its stocks to tide over this period, and inventories now stand at 48 million tonnes against 71 million tonnes on April 1, 2012.
Chairman S. Narsing Rao said that while the production situation was comfortable, there was no room for complacence as the base was low. To a question whether the tardy monsoon had helped the world’s single-largest coal producer to reap a ‘bumper’ output, Mr. Rao said that in certain coalfields in Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL) and Eastern Coalfields, rainfall was in excess. “We were also not prepared for the sudden bandh on September 20. Work was also affected by local disruptions in MCL and Central Coalfields Ltd.,” he said. Western Coalfields Ltd. was the only company to have posted a negative growth in this period, when the performance of CIL’s eight coal-producing subsidiaries showed a uniform upward trend led by South Eastern Coalfields Ltd, CIL’s largest producer.
Offtake, too, was good during the period under review, but was not good enough said Mr. Rao. Against an asking rate of 8.5 per cent for the year, offtake grew by 7.2 per cent during the first six months touching 214.5 million tonnes, which was 14.3 million tonnes higher that the same period, a year ago. He said that better monitoring was the main factor behind the improved performance.
Keywords: Coal India Ltd.