'Thermal coal demand may jump due to rise in electricity demand'

Thermal coal demand may jump due to rise in electricity demand

New Delhi: Coal block allocatees have a golden opportunity to augment production as the demand for thermal coal will rise due to an increase in electricity demand, according to a senior government official.

There are reports of coal shortages amid rising demand for electricity with the onset of summer season.

New coal blocks are being allocated for commercial mining and prospective bidders have shown encouraging responses for these blocks. Some of these blocks have started coal production within a year of allocation, the coal ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Coal block allocatees have a golden opportunity for increasing coal production as the price of imported coal is very high at the moment and demand of thermal coal will increase due to increase in electricity demand of country," Coal Secretary Anil Kumar Jain said.

The production from captive coal blocks registered an increase of 35 per cent to 85 million tonnes in FY22. It was at 63 million tonnes

in FY21.

"The nominated authority, Ministry of Coal has reviewed the production of coal with allocatees of captive coal blocks whose coal blocks have either commenced production or are likely to commence production during the financial year 2022-23," the statement said.

The review meeting was chaired by Jain. The coal ministry has taken consistent initiatives to increase the production of coal from captive mines.

Presently, 106 coal blocks have been allocated under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and mine opening permissions have been given for 47 mines. It is likely to rise to 60 coal blocks in FY'23.

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