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New Delhi: The union coal ministry plans to increase washed coking coal supplies to steel sector from 3 million tonne (mt) to 15 mt.

“Coal Ministry giving further boost to steel sector; plans to enhance supply of washed coking coal to steel sector from 3 to 15 Million Ton. Two coking coal washeries commissioned, three more under construction," coal ministry said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited global firms to take advantage of the 1.97 trillion PLI schemes for 13 sectors including speciality steel and expand their manufacturing in India. This comes in the backdrop of a robust demand for steel and high prices.

Imported coal prices could sustain at the current high levels on the back of a raft of reasons such as strong electricity demand due to strong industrial activity, winter demand, supply concerns in key exporting countries, supply chain constraints and a continued strong steel sector demand; according to India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra).

The total coal offtake from state owned Coal India Ltd and Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) in 2021 was 645.32 million tonne (mt) till November, according to union coal ministry.

The overall coal production from CIL and SCCL from January to November was 615.49 mt. This comes at a time when the global window for future coal mining is getting shorter with a shift happening towards meeting environment, sustainability and governance (ESG) compliance.

The country’ coal requirement is expected to go up to 1,123 mt by 2023 from the present level of 700 mt. India has the world’s fourth largest reserves and is the second-largest producer of coal. With global shift to green energy to address growing environmental concerns, the Indian government is trying to harness coal reserves within the next three decades.

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