India’s coal imports for power plants fall by 37% as self-reliance grows

New Delhi, Feb 26 : India’s coal-based power generation grew by a double-digit — 10.06 per cent — from April 2023 to January 2024 compared to the same period of the previous year, while coal imports for blending witnessed a significant decrease of 36.69 per cent during this period, reflecting the increasing degree of self reliance, according to data released by the Coal Ministry on Monday.

Coal imports for blending declined to 19.36 MT during April 2023-January 2024 from 30.58 MT in the corresponding period of the previous year. This exemplifies the nation’s steadfast commitment to achieve self-reliance in coal production and minimise overall coal imports, the ministry said.

Indian power plants import coal of higher calorific value and blend it with domestic coal to improve the overall quality of their fuel to generate electricity in a more optimal manner.

In India, power generation is diversified across conventional (thermal, nuclear and hydro) and renewable sources (wind, solar, biomass, etc.). However, coal remains the predominant source, contributing over 70 per cent to the total power generation.

Coal-based power generation in the country has been pivotal in meeting the nation’s burgeoning energy demands. Currently, India is witnessing a substantial surge in power requirements, propelled by industrial expansion, technological advancements and economic development.

The government is persisting in its relentless efforts to further augment coal production with the aim of enhancing availability and reducing dependence on imported coal. This strategic approach serves to safeguard foreign reserves while bolstering the nation’s energy security, the Coal Ministry said.

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