Govt unlikely to meet coal requirement, may import 100 mn tonnes

Govt unlikely to meet coal requirement, may import 100 mn tonnes

New Delhi: Government said that it would not be able to meet the projected demand for about 730 million tonnes of coal by the terminal year of the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12) unless 100 million tonnes of the fuel is imported.

“We may not be able to meet this demand unless we import 100 million tonnes of coal," Minister of State for Coal, Santosh Bagrodia said.

The demand for coal was pegged by the Working Group of the Planning Commission about 730 million tonnes, while the production around 680 million tonnes for the terminal year of 2007-12 Plan. With the increasing capacities of the power companies the fuel consumption level is likely to go up.

Power companies may also need to import more of the dry fuel to fill the lacuna between consumption and availability.

State-run NTPC Chairman and Managing Director R S Sharma said: “We will import about 8.2 million tonnes of coal this year and will continue to revise it upwards to meet our growing need."

Country’s largest coal producer Coal India Ltd has also agreed to take their annual production target for the Plan Period to about 600 million tonnes from the targeted 520 million tonnes to fix the demand-supply gap.

In addition to this, CIL has for the first time decided to import about four million tonnes of coal this year, as and when demanded by the power firms.

“Apart from the assurance for higher output from CIL, we need to grow at faster pace to bridge the gap. Our production grew at about 8% from the 10th plan. It may not be enough to meet the rising demand," said Coal Secretary H C Gupta.