Coal imports to touch a record 80-85 m tonnes
Import of thermal coal is projected to sharply go up to 80-85 million tonnes with NTPC likely to account for a fifth of the total projected imports during 2012-13.
The imports will be around 60 per cent higher than the 50 million tonnes coal imported during 2011-12. NTPC is projected to import around 16 million tonnes of coal and is learnt to have already placed orders for around 4 million tonnes.
This is 33 per cent higher than the 12 million tonnes imported by NTPC in 2011-12.
According to government sources, tenders are in the process of being floated for importing balance quantity of coal.
Coal India Limited (CIL) has already agreed to provide 80 per cent of the annual contracted quantity to its consumers.
Out of this, 65 per cent will be met through its own production and the remaining 15 per cent will be imported.
Coal availability for the domestic power sector has been pegged at 347 million tonnes of which three-fourths are expected to be consumed by NTPC.
For 2013-14, it has been put at 381 million tonnes. CIL’s targeted production this year is 464 million tonnes.
On the other hand, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), despite strong opposition from the coal producing states of Jharkhand, East Bengal and Orissa, has chalked out a coal pool pricing strategy for implementation. The CEA has called for centralised imports by CIL, and projected that about 1.05 lakh MW capacity would blend imported coal.
Officials said that power plants using imported coal would have to pay a bit higher for its use. According to CEA estimates, coal prices will go up by at least Rs.105 per tonne, leading to a hike of 6-7 paise [per unit] in power tariff. It is estimated that coal imports and pool pricing will enable 80 per cent supply to power plants.
Source : thehindu.com