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India`s annual coal demand rises 9.1 pct to near 991 million tonnes: Coal Minister
India`s annual coal demand rose 9.1% to 991.35 million tonnes during the year ended March 2019, India`s Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi told in parliament on Monday.
India`s annual coal demand rose 9.1% to 991.35 million tonnes during the year ended March 2019, India`s Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi told the country`s parliament on Monday. Coal is among the top five commodities imported by India, one of biggest importers of the fuel despite having the world`s fifth largest reserves.
Consumption by India`s utilities, which accounted for three-fourths of the total demand, rose 6.6% to 760.66 million tonnes, Joshi said in a written response to a question in the upper house of the parliament.
Imports rose to 235.24 million tonnes in 2018-19 from 208.27 million tonnes in 2017-18, Joshi said, adding that domestic supplies rose to 734.23 million tonnes during the year ended March 2019.
India`s supply shortfall more than doubled to 23.35 million tonnes, mainly because of state-run Coal India`s inability to cater to demand from the cement and sponge iron industries.
Demand from the cement sector rose 70% to 37.22 million tonnes while coal demand from the sponge iron industry rose by over two-thirds to 41.33 million tonnes, Joshi said.
A ban on the use of petroleum coke, a dirtier alternative to coal, in some parts of the country, and Coal India`s focus on power sector ahead of the elections amid a promise to electrify all rural households in the country led to a rise in imports.
State-run Coal India is prioritising starting production at mines with a capacity of more than 10 million tonnes per year and improving mechanisation to increase output, Joshi said.
Coal India`s output rose 7% to 606.89 million tonnes in 2018-19, and is targeting a production of 660 million tonnes in 2019-20.
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