EXCLUSIVE Indias big industrial states plan massive coal imports to stave off shortages – Reuters.com

REUTERS/Amit DaveRegister now for FREE unrestricted access to Reuters.comRegisterMaharashtra to import extra 8 mln T of coalTamil Nadu to import 20% of coal requirement for blendingGujarat to import 1 mln T, full shipment by JuneNEW DELHI, April 21 (Reuters) – Three of Indias many industrialised states prepare to import 10.5 million tonnes of coal in coming months as officials rush to arrest widespread power cuts, a move that might press international coal prices to new highs.The scale of the purchases and the choice to go back on a strategy to cut coal imports highlight the severity of the Indias fuel crisis. Energies coal inventories are at the lowest pre-summer levels in at least 9 years and electrical energy need is seen rising at the fastest speed in at least 38 years.Maharashtra plans to import 8 million tonnes for “mixing functions,” while Gujarat will place orders for 1 million tonnes next week, the states energy officials informed the federal government on April 13, according to the minutes of the conference evaluated by Reuters.Register now for FREE unrestricted access to Reuters.comRegisterThe chairman of the Tamil Nadu government-run energy said the state was targeting importing 20% of its coal requirements, including that it had currently placed orders to import 1.5 million tonnes, according to the meeting minutes.The three states are the among the most significant power guzzlers in the country, cumulatively accounting for nearly a 3rd of Indias electrical power demand in 2021. The cumulative imports planned by just the 3 states would be greater than yearly imports by state government-run energies for blending in at least 6 years.The move by India, the worlds second largest coal importer, might lead to a further boost in worldwide costs, which are currently trading near record highs due to fears of a supply crunch following the European Commissions decision to ban coal imports from Russia after its intrusion of Ukraine.Coal miners in South Africa, Australia and Indonesia are likely to be the main beneficiaries of Indias purchasing spree, though those producers are already stretched by the current spike in demand.Russia is likewise a possible supply source, but costs are currently high and purchasers are likely to push for discounts, 2 traders said.SHORTAGES, SOARING POWER DEMANDIndias federal government has likewise asked the state governments of Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana to import a total of 10 million tonnes of coal.While Punjab has committed to import 625,000 tonnes, the other states have actually not detailed any strategies, the conference minutes showed.Maharashtras anticipated 8 million tonnes of coal imports will be in addition to the 2 million tonnes it had actually currently bought, for which delivery is anticipated on May 8.

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