According to Coal Secretary Anil Swarup, India's coal imports are expected to jump 19% to a record of about 200 million t this fiscal year, as power companies add capacity to meet rising demand even as millions go without electricity.
Shipments into the world's third-largest coal importer are, however, likely to slide back to about 160 million t next year starting 1 April as state-run Coal India Ltd and private companies ramp up output, Swarup added. India, which buys most of its coal from Indonesia, Australia and South Africa, is targeting to stop imports of power-generating thermal coal in the next few years though purchases of highgrade steelmaking coal will continue.
Coal India, the world's largest coal miner, is expected to boost output by 50 million t in 2015/16 to 550 million t, Swarup said. The government has set it a target of 1 billion t by 2019/20.
Coal demand was estimated at 787.03 million t for this fiscal year and is going to jump in the next few years, driven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise to supply power to all. About 280 million people in 56 million homes, or about a fourth of India's 1.2 billion people, still go without electricity though coal-fired power generation has been rising steadily.
Edited from source by Joseph Green
Source: Thomson Reuters
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