* Coal output up 9 pct in April-Oct. 15 vs year ago - minister
* Supply to power sector up 12 pct at 170.17 mln T (Adds quotes, details)
NEW DELHI, Oct 19 (Reuters) - A nine percent jump in Coal India Limited’s production so far this fiscal year has made it possible that the world’s top coal producer will exceed its full-year target of 464 million tonnes, the coal minister said on Friday.
Coal India has produced 208.3 million tonnes from April 1 to Oct. 15, Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters, compared with 191.1 million tonnes a year ago.
“Last (fiscal) year’s performance was not very good due to various reasons. But this year we are hopeful of Coal India exceeding the target of 464 million tonnes,” Jaiswal said.
The state-run miner, which accounts for about 80 percent of the country’s coal output, has repeatedly lagged production aims due to lower productivity for various reasons, including delays in obtaining environment and forestry approvals for new mines.
Last fiscal year, the company achieved only 96.5 percent of its output target, producing 435.84 million tonnes.
Jaiswal also said supply to the power sector, the country’s top coal consumer, rose 12 percent to 170.17 million tonnes during the April-October period.
Around 66 percent of India’s power generation is coal-based.
India expects to produce 574.40 million tonnes of coal in the current 2012/13 year, up 6.4 percent from a year earlier.
“All the subsidiaries have done well,” said Coal India’s chairman, S. Narsing Rao, who was at the conference. “We may surpass the target.”
The miner has eight subsidiaries. (Reporting by Malini Menon; Editing by Anthony Barker)