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India to be coal exporter by 2025-26: Coal minister Pralhad Joshi

The ministry has also signed agreements for 29 coal mines auctioned under the sixth round of commercial coal mines auction

Pralhad Joshi, Coal minister

Pralhad Joshi

Shreya Jai New Delhi

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The country will become a net coal exporter by 2025-26, Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi said, adding that the coal sector is set to break all records.

He said the cumulative coal production in the country, including state-owned ones and private mines, has touched 880 million tonne (Mt) this financial year, and there will be no shortage of coal during the summer months, when demand peaks.

“From a net importer of coal, India is moving towards becoming a net exporter of non-coking (or thermal) coal. India’s imports of substitutable coal were 90 Mt, which will be stopped by 2025-26. Except for coking coal, we will stop the import of thermal coal,” Joshi said at the launch of the seventh round of the commercial coal mine auction.

Earlier, the Ministry of Coal had set 2024 as the target for zero coal imports. The claim of reducing coal imports comes at a time when the Union Ministry of Power has asked all power generators to mandatorily import coal to meet the rising power demand and domestic coal shortfall.

The minister added that production from captive coal mines has touched 100 Mt during this fiscal year. Pointing out the coal stock of 160 Mt at the end of the thermal power units, the minister said, “There won't be any shortage of coal during the peak power demand in summer. Both public and private players have been asked to raise coal production and prepare for the monsoon in June and July.”

Amril Lal Meena, secretary, Ministry of Coal, said by the next fiscal year, the country can look at coal production to the tune of 1 billion tonnes and in a few years, it could touch 1.5 billion tonne.

Announcing the seventh round of commercial coal mines’ auction, Meena said of the 101 coal mines on offer, 32 are new coal mines and 69 are being rolled over from earlier tranches. The mines being auctioned are spread across coal/lignite-bearing states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar.

The ministry has also signed agreements for 29 coal mines auctioned under the sixth round of commercial coal mines auction. The cumulative peak rated capacity of these 29 coal mines is 74 million tonne per annum.

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First Published: Mar 29 2023 | 9:14 PM IST

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