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Adani expects India's coal imports to surge to a record high

Source: The Hindu, May 11, 2019

India’s thermal coal purchases are expected to surge to a record this year and remain robust through the next decade as domestic supply lags demand, according to Adani Enterprises.

Overseas shipments will climb almost 11 per cent to 184 million metric tons during the financial year started April 1, and rise further to average about 200 million annually through the following decade, according to Vinay Prakash, chief executive officer (CEO) for coal and mining at Adani Enterprises Limited.

Generators designed to run on imported coal will keep fuelling demand, while consumers close to the coast are also likely to favour imports due to the higher cost of railing domestic supply to their operations, he said in an interview.

India is seen maintaining its reliance on coal-fired power, which accounts for 70 per cent of its electricity generation, even as the fuel emerges as a leading cause for the country’s toxic air. The continuing demand provides a lifeline for global exporters as other markets gradually shift toward renewable energy, including China, the world’s biggest consumer and producer.

“Demand for imported coal will always be there, regardless of our domestic production. Customers located near the coast may always find it cheaper to import because ocean freight is much cheaper than the railway freight they would need to pay if they get coal from Indian mines,” said Prakash.

India will be a key destination for coal from Adani’s Carmichael mine in Australia’s Galilee basin, Prakash said.

The groups planned 1,600 megawatt power plant in the eastern state of Jharkhand, may be supplied by the mine, along with customers in China, South Korea and Taiwan, he said.

News Source: Bloomberg