Coal India Ltd. (CIL), which supplies more than 80% of India’s coal, produced 57.6 million metric tons (mt) of coal in April, up by 7.7% or 4.1 million mt from a year earlier, according to provisional data from the company. Supplies to utilities and other coal consumers were at 62.4 million mt, up by 8.7% or 5 million mt from a year earlier.

The increase in domestic output on the year came as the government is making efforts to increase local coal availability and raise power generation, especially ahead of the peak of the ongoing summer season, when electricity consumption typically surges, according to Argus Energy.

India’s nationwide coal-fired power generation, which accounts for the bulk of its overall electricity generation, continued to be strong in April. Coal burn edged higher to 105.9 terraWatt-hours (TWh) during April from 105.6 TWh a year earlier, according to latest data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA). It was also up from March’s 103.1 TWh.

Coal inventories at Indian power plants were around 35.0 million mt at the end of April, lower compared to 37 million mt at the end of March and equivalent to just under 13 days of consumption, according to CEA data. The power ministry has asked pithead power plants to maintain 12 to 17 days of coal stocks, while non-pithead utilities are mandated to hold 20 to 26 days of inventories.