Coal based thermal plants are slowly stepping up generation from the multi-year low level seen in April. April, the first full month of lock-down saw coal based thermal power plants operating at a plant load factor (PLF) of 41.66%.

The PLF improved to 47.65% in May, 49.54% in June and is estimated at 53.25% in July, according to reports published by the Central Electricity Authority.

On a year-on-year basis, however, thermal power generation still lags the levels of July 2019 when the PLF was 55.29%.

This evidence also reflects in the Coal consumption and stock levels at coal based thermal power plants. Stocks which reached a high 56.28 million metric tonnes (MMT) at the end of April have reduced to 52.54 MMT.

Coal burn which reached a low of 38.04 MMT in the month of April rose to 45.07 MMT in June. July consumption figures are expected to be still higher, but data is awaited from the CEA.

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