Open market fuels captive coal output by 46% – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Encouraged by open market sale, production from 35 captive blocks have jumped 46% from a year ago to an estimated 92 million tonnes, or 11% of total domestic production estimated this fiscal, and poised to hit 130 million tonnes in the coming months.
The sharp increase in output from these captive mines, combined with higher production from Coal India, is expected to raise total domestic coal output to 770 million tonnes in 2021-22. This will be 5% more than the pre-pandemic 2019-20 and 7% higher than the 2020-21 outputs, preliminary government data indicate.
The government in 2020 allowed commercial mining and amended rules last year, permitting open market sale of 50% output from captive mines. This was done with the objective of augmenting availability of fuel in the market and reducing imports.
“The developers now have an incentive to produce more. The ministry had formed an advisory group to help speed up clearances from states. As more mines get clearances they start production in a small way and then ramp up fast,” a senior coal ministry official told TOI.
To put the higher production in perspective, India’s coal imports declined by nearly 9% in the April 2021-February 2022 period in spite of a record rise in power demand. Riding on robust economic recovery, domestic coal-based generation was rose 17% from a year ago during the April-January period of the fiscal. Total coal-based generation grew by 11%.


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