India’s coal import is likely to decline by 11.4 per cent to 186 million tonnes (MT) in the current financial year, even as the state-owned firm has issued import tenders to source the dry fuel from overseas.
Coal India Ltd, which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal output, last week issued tenders to import coal in a bid to build up the stock of fossil fuel at the indigenous power plants, as mandated by the government.
The country imported 210 million tonnes of coal in 2021-22. According to the medium-term projections of the ministry of coal, of the 186 MT of coal that the company is expected to import in the ongoing fiscal, 130 million tonnes is non-coking coal and 56 million tonnes is cooking coal.
Non-coking coal is mainly used as thermal coal for power generation. India is likely to import 172 million tonnes of coal in 2024-25, 173 million tonnes in 2027-28, and 170 million tonnes in 2029-30. The country imported 215 million tonnes of coal in FY’21 and 249 million tonnes of coal in FY’20, the coal ministry said.
Coal India last week floated its maiden tender to import 2.416 million tonnes of coal and also floated two international competitive bidding e-tenders of 3 million tonnes each to source coal from overseas.
The import tender was floated after the government asked the company to build up a stock of fossil fuels to avoid the reoccurrence of power outages, which happened in April on account of a shortage of fuel.
Though CIL is on its full steam in augmenting the production to meet the domestic demand of the country, this is a step towards a state of readiness to combat a futuristic coal supply crunch if any, the PSU said.