With the second wave of Covid-19 affecting more than 5,400 Coal India (CIL) employees and their wards, including contractual workers across subsidiaries, operations have slowed down. However, offtake in April grew on the strength of a stockpile of above 99 million tonne.
The company has already set up over 3,000 Covid-19 beds, most of them oxygen supported, and plans to add 900, of which 60 will be ICU beds. More than 1,800 oxygen cylinders and 200 ventilators are ready. As many as 77,000 employees, their wards and contractual workers have been vaccinated till May 2 in an in-house drive.
Coal offtake was been 54.1 million tonne in April, 15 MT more than that in March. The power sector lifted more than 78% or 42.4 MT of this, and the non-power sector lifted the rest.
Offtake could have been even higher, but most of the affected employees are involved in output and offtake operations, and loading from private washeries, goods sheds and transport through road mode took a hit, a CIL executive said. “Nevertheless, a 15 MT offtake increase in a month is a signal of demand revival. But it would be anomalous to compare this year’s April offtake with last year’s April offtake, which happened in complete lock down,” he said.
Offtake during April in FY22 grew 38.4 % compared to the same month last fiscal. Demand sustenance remains a key issue for CIL to bring down coal inventory. It has reduced coal inventory by 12.2 MT in April after it started the new fiscal with a record stockpile of 99.3 MT. The company produced around 42 MT of coal in April, and over burden removal at 116 million cubic metres achieved 94% of the month’s target.