90% are met thru imports
Stating that India needs aggressive focus on increasing coking coal production to reduce import dependence Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Pralhad Joshi invited suggestions from all stakeholders for finding technology solution and using available coking coal in the country.
Mr Joshi was addressing a workshop on “Coking Coal Strategy for Indian Steel Sector” moving towards an Atmanirbhar Bharat, organised by the Ministry of Coal, the Coal India Limited (CIL), and the Confederation of Indian Industry.
Speaking on the occasion, the minister stated that there has been increase in import of coking coal in the last few years although domestic coking coal production also increased to 51.7 million ton. It was informed that the coking coal block auction did not receive good response from industry and Ministry of Coal is keen to understand the issues faced by industry in this regard. The minister urged to find technology solution and powerful strategies for using available coking coal in the country which will help the sector aligning with the PM’s five-point vision towards an Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Coking coal fuel for the steel sector
There are nine new coking coal washeries having capacity 30 million ton to be set up by Coal India Ltd (CIL) and necessary infrastructure reform has been made for the same.
Mr Sanjay Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Steel made a narrative on domestic coking coal production while highlighting the dichotomy of coking coal. The steel sector needs 60 million ton coking coal, 90% of which is met through imports. The ministry has initiated working on a strategy for having domestic coal use in blast furnaces and washeries and increase domestic coal blending to 25-35%. Mr Singh suggested increase in consumption and scrap generation as short-term strategy and four-time production increase in the longer-term for lowering dependence on iron ore and coking coal. Mr A K Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Coal said that significant use of technology will be in focus for washing coal, lowering ash content and further bringing end to end solution to enhance domestic coking coal production. Welcoming the minister and other dignitaries in the seminar, Mr Pramod Agrawal, Chairman, CIL emphasised on a four-point agenda of bringing balance between the supply and demand sides of coking coal, delineating the role of private sector, improving the quality by substituting low-grade coal, and bringing high focus on technology integration.