POWER SECTOR: Foremost in the queue
The Indian power sector is the largest consumer of coal with ever-growing demand. Of the total power consumed in the country, almost 80% is produced from coal. Country’s power demand is seen rising over 55% to 1,400 Billion Kilowatt hours (BKWh) by 2017. To meet the expected demand, about 100,000 MW of generation capacity is to be added in future. Thus, Coal will continue to be the dominant source of energy due to a comparative cost and other factors. Coal requirement for power sector is anticipated around 682 MnT by 2016-17, an increase of 46% against 2012-13 figures.
Coal in India is again a crucial input in the steel sector. The Indian steel industry has been facing severe coal shortage for last several years. There is vast scope for increasing the per capita steel consumption, a factor which correlates to availability and import of coking coal. Hike in steel demand in India is anticipated to be 14% against the world average of 5-6% in near future. Thus, improve in steel demand will keep the demand of coking coal intact in forthcoming years.
India ranks second among cement manufacturers in the world. Outsized amount of energy is involved in cement production and coal acts as an energy source in it. During the process, generally powdered coal is burnt in the furnace. The cement industry is the third largest consumer of coal in the country. Coal is used as the principal fuel in the industry because of high cost and scarcity of oil and gas. The envisioned cement production program in 2016-17 is around 394 MnT and this will require about 47 MnT of coal.