New Delhi: Asserting that India has adequate coal reserves, Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Wednesday said that the country will start exporting dry fuel by 2025-26. From a net importer of coal, India is moving towards becoming a net exporter of non-coking coal, Joshi said on the sidelines of the seventh round of auctions for commercial mining of coal blocks in the national capital.
The minister also assured of an uninterrupted supply of coal in the approaching summer season when the peak demand is expected to be 229 GW during April. Domestic demand for coal is estimated to reach 1,087 million tonnes in the ongoing financial year. The industry meets some parts of its requirements through imports.
According to the Coal Ministry, India's cumulative total estimated coal reserve as of April 1, 2022, was 3.61 lakh million tonnes (MT). On a question related to imports, he said that India's imports of substitutable coal were 90 MT, which will be stopped by 2025-26 when the country will start exporting the dry fuel. "Except for coking coal, we will stop the (import of) thermal coal," he said.
The plants, designed to run on imported coal, may continue to import, but if they change the technology domestic supply can be made to them as well, Joshi said. The minister further said, "Record coal production has happened at nearly 900 MT in FY23, and we have coal stock of 116-117 MT at present. I assure the country of uninterrupted coal supply in summers or in rainy seasons." Both private and public companies have been directed to continue with their coal production during April and May.