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Coal Imports Fall, Output Rises In 2021-22, Yet State Faces Power Crisis


Coal imports fell in India between April-January of the current financial year

Despite the fact that in the period September-October 2021, some states saw the possibility of blackouts due to severe coal supply shortages, between April 2021-January 2022, dry fuel imports have declined to 173.32 million tons as compared to 180.56 million metric tons in the period. same the year before, although production was robust.

According to official data from the Ministry of Coal, in the same period April 2021-January 2022, coal imports by the energy sector have fallen to 22.73 million tonnes compared to 39.01 million tonnes in the same period last year.

The reduction in imports indicates that the country has an adequate supply of domestic coal, as its production has broken records.

Earlier this month, Coal India Limited, which is the largest dry fuel supplier in the country, had said in a statement that 2021-22 had been a high-performing year for it with an improved previous record.

The CIL has said that it is trying to touch its production target of 670 million metric tonnes in the current fiscal.

But in September and October 2021, five states namely Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Delhi and Tamil Nadu faced severe coal shortages and had to cut off scheduled electricity supplies to avoid possible blackouts.

In addition, some power stations are left with a supply of only two days of dry fuel, when under normal circumstances, this stock is up to 15 days.

The shortage of coal during the period was due to the heavy rains witnessed in the coal bearing areas in September 2021, which hindered its movement to the power generation units, thus affecting the power supply in those states.

In addition, the unprecedented increase in the price of imported coal has led to a significant reduction in power generation from imported coal -based power plants.

This is the reason when during the current fiscal, record coal production and a sharp reduction in its imports were seen, the major states facing energy shortages had come abruptly.

Meanwhile, coal imports by the energy sector declined from 69.22 million tonnes in 2019-20 to 45.47 million tonnes in 2020-21, according to official data.

The share of dry fuel supply by Coal India Limited, which is around 60.8 per cent of total coal consumption in 2019-20, increased to 63.3 per cent in 2020-21 and further to 64.3 per cent in 2021-22 (April-January 2022).

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