Increase in coal, crude and power: Economic Survey

New Delhi, Feb 25 (Calcutta Tube) There is good news on India’s energy front, with the Economic Survey recording an increase in the coal and crude production, coming down of power peak deficit, and a slowdown in the demand for power.

As per the Economic Survey 2009-10 tabled in parliament Thursday, the production of raw coal during April-November 2009 registered a growth of 12.5 percent – at 325.87 million tonnes compared to the same period in the previous year.

Similarly, the growth rate in raw coal production has seen an upswing from 6 percent in 2003-4 to 8.4 percent in 2008-9 ‘due to enhanced production by all the stakeholders, especially captive blocks and large PSUs like Coal India Ltd. (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. (SCCL)’.

In the power sector, there has been growth in power generation for nine months between April to December 2009 at 6 percent, compared to 2.7 percent in 2008.

The Survey adds that despite modest growth in electricity generation, the peak deficit came down significantly in 2008-09 on account of slowdown in growth of peak demand.

‘During April-December 2009, the peak and total energy deficit came down considerably to 12.6 percent and 9.8 percent respectively from 13.8 and 10.9 percent during the corresponding period in the previous year,’ it said.

But, there has been a setback in the commissioning of new thermal projects, with only 3,454 MW of capacity added till march 31, 2009, against a target of 7,530 MW for 2008-09.

The survey said the reasons for the deficit were ‘delayed and non-sequential supply of material by suppliers, shortage of skilled man-power for construction and commissioning of projects and contractual disputes between project authorities, contractors and their sub-vendors’.

There was an optimistic note on the hydrocarbon sector, with the domestic availability of oil and natural gas expected to improve with 15 new oil and gas discoveries in the current financial year.

The survey says that the projected production of crude will be 11 percent higher at 36.7 million tonnes in 2009-10, compared to the previous year.

This has been due to increase in crude oil production from Rajasthan and the Krishna Godavari basin, said the survey.

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