In strategy shift, Coal India to prune pithead stocks
Kolkata: For years it has been Coal India’s practice to accumulate inventories. And as of 2011-12, nearly one-sixth of the company’s annual production, valued at Rs 8500 crore, has been lying at the pithead.
All this will now change. With the fiscal coming to a close, CIL expects its pithead stocks to come down by at least 18 mt — close to one-tenth the estimated annual production of 450 mt — from 71 mt last year. “We envisage stocks to come down by 18-21 mt this fiscal,” a senior company official told Business Line.
In fact, stocks were down by 29 mt in November. But, as rake availability didn’t match the high winter production, fresh stocks began piling up at the pithead beginning December. In the last two months, inventories went up by nearly 4 mt. Another 4-6 mt are expected to be dumped near the pithead in February and March. In a way, the stocks offered CIL a much-needed cushion to significantly step up supplies to the power sector in 2012-13.
Having suffered near zero production growth for two preceding years, CIL set a target to increase supplies by 37 mt this fiscal.