India sets end-June coal import targets
May 03 2022 11:35 PM
Coal import Coals
(Representative photo)

Reuters/ New Delhi

India has asked state and private sector utilities to ensure delivery of 19mn tonnes of coal from overseas by end-June, according to a power ministry letter, reflecting an urgency to secure supplies in a pricey market amid increasing blackouts.
The move, which marks the first time the world’s second largest coal importer is issuing timelines for imports, can put pressure on the global prices of coal as the utilities rush to avoid a repeat of the electricity crisis in April.
If the timelines are adhered to, the imports by the states and private utilities over the next five months for blending with domestic coal will surpass annual imports by the entities in at least six years.
An unrelenting heatwave pushed electricity demand to a record high in April, leading to the worst power crisis in over six years and forcing India to go back on a policy to cut down coal imports.
The federal government has asked state government-owned utilities to import over 22mn tonnes of coal and private power plants to import 15.94mn tonnes, the power ministry said in a letter reviewed by Reuters.
The power ministry asked all utilities to ensure delivery of 50% of the allocated quantity by June 30, another 40% by end-August and the remaining 10% by the end of October, according to the letter to top officials at state energy departments and heads of private power plants.
State government-run utilities have not imported for blending more than 7.1mn tonnes and private companies not more than 13.1mn tonnes since at least the year ending March 2017.
Data predating year ended March 2017 is not available.
The federal power ministry did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

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