Mar 26:With a considerable increase in domestic coal production, India has achieved a significant reduction in the import of coal despite the surge in power demand. Imports of all grades of Non-Coking Coal have come down to 125.611 Million Ton (MT) during the period April to January 2022 from 163.845 MT during the corresponding months of the FY 20, a decline of about 23.33%.
The domestic coal-based power generation up to January 2022 is 815.72 BU (Billion Units) with an increase of 12.55% over 724.746 BU during the corresponding period of FY 20. Imported coal-based power generation which was 78.07 BU from April to January 2020 has reduced by 55% to 35.13 BU during the corresponding months of current FY 22.
The import of Non-Coking coal primarily used in the power sector has decreased by 60.87% from 58.09 MT to 22.73 MT up to Jan 22 in comparison to the same period of FY 20. The overall import of coal has also reduced to 173.20 MT in the period from April to January 2022 as compared to 207.235 MT during the corresponding period of FY 20, a decrease of about 16.42% which has resulted in significant savings of forex reserves this year especially when the coal prices are at a high level in the international market. All efforts are on to further enhance domestic coal production as the availability of additional coal will aid in import substitution.
India is the world’s third-largest energy-consuming country and electricity demand grows by 4.7% each year. To reduce the dependence on imports of coal, major reforms initiatives have been undertaken by the Ministry of Coal with the vision of “AtmaNirbhar Bharat”. The Ministry has amended the Mineral Concession (Amendment) Rules, 1960 under MMDR(Amendment) Act, 2021 to allow lessees of captive mines to sell coal or lignite up to 50% 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 utilization of mining capacities of captive coal blocks which have led to an increase in production of coal by 37.85% from 51.73 MT up to Jan 2020* to 71.31 MT during the corresponding period of FY 22. This has led to an overall increase in domestic production of coal by 8.38% to 601.97MT up to January 22 as compared to 555.41 MT in the corresponding months of FY 20. In FY 23, it is expected that domestic thermal coal supply will be adequate to meet the power sector demand.
The financial year 2020-21 is not being taken for comparison purposes as it was impacted by Covid – 19 pandemic.
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