Kolkata– In the ongoing coal linkage e-auction for captive power plants (CPPs), the Coal India Ltd (CIL) secured a booking of 12.95 million tonnes of coal against the offered 13.43 million tonnes in the first five days of auction that began on July 26, a company official said on Tuesday.

“At the end of Day five on July 30, 12.95 million tonnes has been booked, yielding good premium over the notified price,” he said.

The ongoing linkage auction to CPPs will close on Wednesday and a total quantity of around 18 million tonnes would be put on the block for CPPs.

“Barring Amrapali of CCL (Central Coalfields Limited), where logistic constraints witnessed less booking coupled with the fact that haulage distance is more due to no CPPs in proximity, the response to the auction has been encouraging,” the official said.

Captive power producers are taking interest in the linkage auction because of high demand for power for captive use along with surging prices of imported coal, said coal consumers.

“The power demand for captive purposes has been rising and the price of imported coal started surging. The captive power producers look for long-term assurance. Non-power sector did not have linkage for a long time. Perhaps, for these reasons, CPPs have been taking more interest,” Coal Consumers’ Association of India’s Secretary General Subhasri Chaudhuri told IANS.

The miner had already conducted linkage auctions for coal to be used for sponge iron manufacturing and for the cement sector.

CIL’s production in the first four months of the current fiscal stood at 162.38 million tonne, up 6.20 mt compared with the same period last year.

Coal off-take during April-July period was 174.66 mt, an increase of 4.36 mt on a year-on-year basis.

Coal stocks at pitheads as of July 31 stood at 45.37 mt while the same was 57.64 mt at the beginning of the fiscal.

Coal stocks at coal-fired power utilities of the country continue to be high at around 31 mt as of July 28, with a comfort of 23-day stock with no station at critical or super-critical levels.

The power utilities have been able to reduce their stock by 8.09 mt at their end since the beginning of the fiscal.