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Thursday, June 13, 2024

India’s thermal coal imports rise in 2023

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Kolkata: India’s thermal coal imports, including anthracite, rose 6 per cent in 2023, aided by a jump in intake by power plants following a government advisory to blend 6 pc imports in their total coal usage to meet elevated electricity, a report quoting the government source said on Tuesday.

The metallurgical coal imports, including PCI, also went up 5 pc, the report said, attributing this to a steep rise in crude steel production, amid a jump in the country’s steel demand.

A central government advisory to hinterland plants to blend 6 pc thermal imports was initially in place between January-September, later extended upto March 2024, while coastal plants were asked to operate at optimum capacity during the same period.

But the hinterland plants were asked to blend only 4 pc imports, while there was no relief to coastal plants who were asked to continue with optimum operations until March.

Thermal imports in 2023 increased 6 pc year on year to a provisional 175.03 mt, from a revised 165.53 mt in 2022, according to McCloskey data.

This was due to a 14 pc surge in intake by power plants, as coal-fired generation rose 9% year on year for a second consecutive year. India’s coal-fired electricity generation in 2023 was up 9 pc on the year to a provisional 1,231.60 TWh, from 1,128.05 TWh in 2022, a year
in which it also grew 9 pc year on year from 1,037.30 TWh in 2021, according to Central
Electricity Authority (CEA) data.

Coal imports by Indian power plants, excluding captive plants, rose to 57.39 mt in 2023, from 50.35 mt, according to CEA.

The government advisory had little impact on imports by hinterland power plants due to increased domestic availability and their imports in 2023 slipped 24% to 23.40 mt, from 30.63 mt in 2022.

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