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Indian power utilities’ Apr-Oct thermal coal imports slide 16% on year

Indian power utilities imported around 33.62 million mt of thermal coal over April-October, down 16% from the same period a year ago, according to Central Electricity Authority data.

Of the total, 9.61 million mt was imported for blending with domestic coal, while 24.01 million mt coal was imported for power plants designed on imported coal, the data showed.

Out of the 9.61 million mt, around 2.18 million mt was imported by six state-owned utilities for their power stations and the balance was imported by 11 private power producers.

In the case of plants designed on imported coal, of the 24.01 million mt, 0.70 million mt was imported by one state-run utility while 23.31 million mt was imported by 10 private sector power utilities.

Twenty-nine utilities did not import any coal in the first seven months of the current fiscal year over April 2017-March 2018, and data was not available for one.

Adani Power imported the highest volume of coal at around 7.82 million mt, followed by Tata’s Mundra ultra mega power project at around 6 million mt and JSW Energy at 2.11 million mt.

On a monthly basis, around 5.24 million mt of thermal coal was imported by utilities in October, down 7% against the corresponding month a year ago.

Even though power plants faced a huge coal shortage last month, the imports didn’t go up because of high prices in the international market, however, going forward coal imports may see a jump as the recent petcoke ban in three north Indian states will make end-users turn to steam coal, market sources said.

Power utilities had imported 65.12 million mt of steam coal in fiscal 2016-2017, down 19% on the year.
Source: Platts

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