Sunday, May 22, 2022

Demand for coal high but gap between demand, supply can’t be bridged fully: Joshi

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  • According to the data shared by the minister in the Lok Sabha, India imported 214.99 Million Tonnes (MT) of coal in FY21, 248.54 MT in FY20
  • The gap between demand and domestic supply of coal cannot be bridged completely as there is insufficient availability and reserve of prime coking coal in the country, said Joshi

New Delhi: In the backdrop of regulated coal supply to the non-power sector, Union Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi has said on Wednesday that the demand for coal is higher than the current level of domestic supply and the gap between supply and demand cannot be bridged completely. In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Joshi said, “Demand for coal is higher than the current level of domestic supply of coal in the country. The gap between demand and domestic supply of coal cannot be bridged completely as there is insufficient availability and reserve of prime coking coal in the country.”

“Further, coal imported by power plants designed on imported coal and high grade coal required for blending purposes is also imported in the country as this cannot be fully substituted by domestic coal as the country has limited reserve of high grade coal,” Joshi told the Lower House of Parliament.

India imported 214.99 MT of coal in FY21

According to the data shared by the minister in the Lok Sabha, India imported 214.99 Million Tonnes (MT) of coal in FY21, 248.54 MT in FY20, 235.35 MT in FY19, 208.25 MT in FY18 and 190.95 MT in FY17. The government has asked Coal India Ltd (CIL) and its subsidiaries, who are primarily responsible for the supply of domestic coal within the country, to ramp up coal production to 1 Billion Tonne (BT) by 2023-24. India’s total coal demand hovers around 900 MT. 

Coal import has reduced majorly: Coal Ministry

Meanwhile, in a statement released on Wednesday, the Ministry of Coal said that India’s coal imports have reduced majorly. “With increase in domestic production of coal, we have achieved significant reduction in import of coal despite surge in power demand. The coal-based power generation upto November 2021 is 671.906 BU (Billion Units), with an increase of 5.17 percent over generation of 638.82 BU during the corresponding period of FY20. Imported coal-based power generation, which was 61.78 BU during April to Nov 2019, has reduced by 51.38 percent to 30.036 BU during the corresponding months of current FY22. Imports of all grades of Non-Coking Coal has reduced to 107.36 MT during the period April to November 2021 from a level of 131.51 MT during the corresponding months of FY20, leading to a decline of about 18.36 percent,” said the statement.

“To reduce the dependence on imports of coal, major reforms have been carried out by the Ministry of Coal with the vision of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat.’ The Ministry has also amended the Mineral Concession (Amendment) Rules, 1960 under MMDR (Amendment) Act, 2021 to allow lessee of captive mines to sell coal or lignite up to 50 percent of the total excess production after meeting the requirements of the end-use plant. With this amendment, MoC has paved the way for releasing of additional coal in the market by greater utilisation of mining capacities of captive coal blocks which has led to increase in production of coal by 36.06 percent from 39.15 MT upto November 2019 to 53.27 MT during the corresponding period of FY22. The reforms have led to an increase in domestic production of coal by 9.01 percent and the overall coal production rose at 447.54 MT upto November 21 as compared to 410.55 MT in the corresponding months of FY20,” it added.

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