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Coal India official: need for coal export policy

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World Coal,

As reported by the Economic Times, a senior Coal India official has said that the state company requires a policy on coal exports as a prerequisite to completing commercial export contracts.

"There is need for a policy. But, we are not aggressive as we are facing high demand in the domestic market and the initial aim is to fulfil that," the unnamed official said.

"We are in process of dialogue for export to Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan to create a market for long term. A very small quantity of coal is exported to neighbouring countries through bilateral agreements," he added.

The Indian government had recently been aiming to export coal with a high ash content or of higher grade; Coal India sought export opportunities when pithead coal stocks hit a level of 70 million t in May 2017. However this received comparatively low interest as a result of evacuation and cost issues. Now pithead stocks have been reduced to 23 million t thanks to sudden increased demand from the power sector.

In recent months Coal India has struggled to meet demand for power and non-power sectors such as aluminium and cement.

Pressure from India’s coal ministry to increase production had led to a revision in Coal India’s internal production target, from 630 million tpy to 652 million tpy.

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