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India’s coking coal imports surge 40% in FY18 - ISA

Coal News - Published on Mon, 22 Apr 2019

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Financial Express reported that steel companies have estimated that Coal India’s delays in setting up coking-coal washeries inflated the country’s coal imports by USD 3 billion or over 40% in FY18. The firms have warned that imports of the fuel, which could drive up India’s goods trade and current account deficit, could rise further if adequate number of domestic washeries is not set up in the public and private sectors. In letters sent to steel and coal ministries, the Indian Steel Association has pointed out that if the situation does not improve, import bills would rise exponentially as the country strives to achieve the ambitious steel production target of 300 MTPA by FY31. The letters, reviewed by FE, said capacities of CIL washeries are grossly under-utilised and become obsolete because they were primarily designed to handle coal with ash content much lower than what is currently mined. Since unwashed coking coal with high ash content can’t be used by the steel industry, it is being diverted to power plants.

The letter from ISA added that “At present, if coking coal being sold to power plant is washed, there is potential to cut approximately 40% of import at current level of production saving about USD 3 billion.”

Apart from a suitable augmentation plan for all existing washeries, the steel industry has requested the government to allocate or auction coking coal to steel plants interested in washing coal themselves for their exclusive use. They also want better coking coal blocks reserved for CIL to be offered to steel players.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 22 Apr 2019
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