The letter is prompted by a recent ad hoc decision by CIL to further restrict the road network and tighten the supply of coal to the non-electricity sector.

Aluminum Association of India (AAI) said on Monday it has written to the Prime Minister’s Office asking for urgent action to avert the impending disruption to coal supplies as the state-run miner has decided to curtail the roads and the coal transport to the non-energy sector.

The letter is prompted by a recent ad hoc decision by the state-run CIL to further restrict the road network and further restrict the supply of coal to the non-electricity sector, without prior notice.

The domestic coal crisis that has engulfed the past seven months has shown recent signs of abating, at least with regard to the energy sector, whose coal stocks have significantly improved to 9-10 days, from a three-to-four day low. in August-September last year, AAI said in a statement.

However, this came at the expense of the non-electricity sector, which consists of several large industries that rely on coal for power generation, including steel, aluminum and fertilizer producers.

Coal supplies for the non-energy sector are now further limited from 3.6 lakh tons per day (LTPD) to 2.75 LTPD, which will exacerbate the supply-demand gap and create a huge shortage for the industry, the association said.

This worrying development comes at a time when coal supplies to the non-electricity sector have already fallen by 12 percent in the September-February period in FY22, while supplies to the electricity sector have increased by 11 percent, resulting in a huge backlog of 4800 rakes awaiting delivery to the non-power sector.

Hardest hit by this situation are the captive power plants (CPPs) of the highly energy-intensive aluminum industry. While the industry’s mandated level of coal stocks is at least 15 days, it is now seeing dangerously low stockpiles of less than four days.

The aluminum industry needs a stable, uninterrupted power supply to keep its smelters running.

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