With the increasing shortage, India needs to increase domestic Coal production and fill the Coal demand-supply gap with imports.
India ranks 5th in the Coking Coal producing countries of the world, but it still import the same to fill the demand-supply gap. In addition, domestic Coal quality is not up to the mark as required by various industries. There are multiple reasons for decline in domestic coal production such as de-allocation of coal blocks and monsoon which did not favor coal production this year. In addition, domestic Coal is reported to have high ash content of 38-45 percent which needs to be processed through the Washeries before they can be used in various industries.
Coal washing or beneficiation is a process in which raw Coal from the mines are washed to remove the ash content in it. The process helps reduce the ash content from 38-45 percent to 30 percent or less. Indian government has promoted Coal Washeries for domestic Coal quality improvement.
Currently the topmost suppliers of Coal to India are Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, USA and New Zealand. India’s total Coal imports have witnessed a continuous growth in past few years and still plans to grow further. The country has imported about 145.8 MnT in FY13 over 102.9 MnT in FY12. Imports till Sept. FY14 are at about 82.5 MnT. It further plans to increase the imports up to 94 MnT by 2017 and about 200 MnT by 2026.
Recently, Indian Union Minister of Steel, Shri Beni Prasad Verma had visited Australia and New Zealand for a business trip. In the trip Mr Verma has expressed his need for the raw material to the countries and demanded for more Coal supply in the near future.