Some state-owned power producers, who had stopped imports, are now looking at importing coal at a time when the Centre’s focus is on reducing imports and eventually bringing it down to zero.
Coal imports rose by 9.5 per cent to 18.33 million tonnes (MT) in September, after having registered year-on-year decline for five months in a row, as some power plants faced fuel shortages.
China’s imports of coal from the seaborne market surged again in July, providing a stark contrast to a fourth consecutive monthly decline for India.
coal imports has been declining over the last three years. During 2014-15 India imported 217.78 million tonnes of coal which declined to 203.95 million tonnes in 2015-16 and further to 190.95 million tonnes in 2016-17.
The trend of fall in import of coal continued unabated in 2017-18 and during April-June 2017-18, 52.74 million tonnes of coal was imported against 57.38 million tonnes in the corresponding previous period registering a 8.1% fall, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said citing figures of the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics.
India, the third largest coal producer in the world, imported 190 million tonnes of the fuel worth over Rs one lakh crore in 2016-17 fiscal, Parliament was informed today.
Government today said it is aiming to bring down to “zero” thermal coal imports of power PSUs like NTPC in the current fiscal, a move that would reduce the country’s import bill by around Rs 17,000 crore.
India is now surplus in coal and in electricity. We are even exporting power to Bangladesh and are negotiating to do so to Nepal.
The trend of fall in import of coal has continued in 2016-17 wherein for the period April 2016-January 2017, coal imports have reduced by 2.59% as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.
On the back of increased domestic production, India’s coal imports have fallen from 217.78 Mte in 2014-15 to 199.88 Mte in 2015-16.
India’s vast coal reserves could remain unused in future, thanks to the expected mega shift towards clean energy generation sector, the country’s power, coal, renewable energy and mines minister Piyush Goyal said.
Coal imports by power utilities for blending with domestic coal has halved during April 2016 and January 2017 against the previous corresponding period on account of more coal being made available by Coal India.