Coal imports to India have gone up by 33.7% in FY 13 to 137.56 MnT compared to 102.85 MnT in FY 12. On the other hand, coal exports are up by 40% in FY 13 with an export of 2.8 MnT coal compared to 2 MnT coal exports in FY 12.
Coal as a raw material is always in great demand all over the world from its core sectors such as steel, power, iron ore and cement, which are an essential part of human life. Coal mining in India began in 1774 by John Summer and Suetonius Grant Heatly of the East India Company, who first extracted coal from the Raniganj Coalfield, located in the Western banks of Damodar River. The coal production however remained slow until the introduction of steam locomotives in 1853 which gave a boost to coal mining operations.
Demand for coal has been in a continuous rise over the last few decades with rising demand from power manufacturers. Coal demand for FY 14 is estimated at 769.69 MnT in FY 14, while the domestic coal available for supply is 614.55 MnT. The shortage of 154.45 MnT coal needs to be supplied from other sources and coal imports is the only other source left as option for the government.
Coal India has decided to start some of its mines through the Mine Developer and Operator (MDO) route. At present, 5 Opencast Mines with an annual capacity of 14 MnTPA and 2 Underground Mines with an annual capacity of 2.52 MnTPA have been identified for implementation through MDO Route. MDO are those who develop the mines and perform all mining operations. In addition to the above, Siarmal OCP, MCL with an annual capacity of 40 MnTPA is also being considered as pilot project for proposed PPP model.
Coal imports to India in July 13 were 13.18 MnT comprising of 2.44 MnT of Coking Coal, 10.24 MnT of Non-Coking Coal and 4.97 lac tonnes of other coal. Presently, CNF cost of importing Premium high carbon grade Australian Coking Coal is around USD 133/MT and USD 75/MT for 6000 NAR Australian Non-Coking material. Coal in India is imported majorly from Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and the US.
A little bit of coal is also exported from India to its neighboring countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. In FY 13 around 2.8 MnT coal was exported which was 2 MnT in FY 12.