Coal output up; imports may dip to 155 million tonnes this fiscal
Higher output of domestic coal may see India’s import of the dry fuel drop to 155-160 million tonne (mt) in the current fiscal from 185 mt in 2014-15. The imports may decline further to about 150 mt in the next fiscal. “India’s import of thermal coal in financial year 2015-16 will be around 155-160 mt compared with around 185 mt in FY15 because of low imports by power generation companies on increased availability of domestic coal,” said Mjucntion Services CEO and MD Viresh Oberoi. Mjunction Services is an e-auction joint venture between Tata Steel and SAIL.
Coal imports will continue to taper down in 2016-17 as well and will fall to around 150 million tonnes primarily because of a fall in imports by non-coastal-area based state power generation companies, Oberoi said, adding that imports by coastal power plants and other sectors are likely to increase a little.
He cautioned however that the situation may change and there might be higher import of coal if plant load factor (PLF) of thermal power plants, which was hovering around 61 per cent till December 2015, goes up.
Coal India Ltd (CIL) may end up with a production of around 535-540 MT of coal in 2015-16 and around 580-585 MT in 2016-17 and the import figures might change a bit depending
on actual production by the coal PSU, he said.
“According to our compilation, India’s thermal coal imports in January 2016 stood at 13 MT as compared with 16.52 MT imported in January 2015,” he added. The country’s coal imports fell for the seventh straight month in January in the current fiscal.
India imported 212.103 MT of dry fuel worth over Rs 1 lakh crore in the last fiscal. The coal imports in financial year 2014-15 were at 212.103 MT, an increase of 27 per cent over the previous year, the provisional coal statistics of 2014-15 released by the Coal Ministry had earlier said.
Coal India Ltd accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production. The government is eyeing to achieve 1.5 billion tonnes of coal production by 2020.