India sees coal imports at 51 mln tonnes this year


Kalimantan Coal

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – India’s demand for coal is growing by around 8-9 percent a year, outpacing production that is growing by 6 percent as the power sector has not been hit by the credit crunch, a senior government official said on Thursday.

“There is no delay on account of the credit crunch,” Shri S.C. Bhatia, deputy secretary of the ministry of coal, said on the sidelines of a coal market conference.

He expected import demand at 51 million tonnes in the financial year to the end of March, up from 49.8 million tonnes in the previous year and 42 million in the 2006/07 financial year.

“The demand is there, many areas are not yet covered by power, so there will be growth,” said Bhatia.

India will use 731.1 million tonnes of coal in 2011/12, up from 474.18 million tonnes in 2006/07, he added.

Previous government estimates have shown that domestic production will cover just 680 million tonnes of this demand.

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