Coal India coking coal output up 17% to 54.6 Million Tonnes in FY23


Biznextindia : Coal India’s (CIL) coking coal production has risen to 54.6 million tonnes (MTs) in 2022-23 with a sharp 17.2% y-o-y growth compared to 46.6 MTs of FY’22. The quantum leap in the year was a whopping 8 MTs. Achievement against the target was 107.3%. This assumes significance at a time when the Ministry of Coal has asked CIL to elevate the output of this category of coal to 105 MTs by 2030 in a bid to reduce its imports and forex outgo.

BCCL and CCL, the two Jharkhand based CIL’s subsidiaries are major producers of coking coal and together accounted for almost the entire output of 54.3 MTs in 2022- 23. BCCL alone produced nearly 62% or 33.7 MTs during the year posting 16% growth over 29 MTs of FY’22. Whereas, CCL clocked around 20% growth at 20.6 MTs. Coking coal is an important feedstock in steel making. In India, its mineable reserves are scarce and also its quality inadequacy for direct use in steel making necessitates washing. This forces its imports. During FY’23 coking coal imports were to the tune of 56 MTs (provisional) down by 1.1 MTs compared to 57.1 MTs in FY’22. Apart from the meagre availability, Indian coking coal has high ash content requiring washing for use in steel mills. CIL has set out a roadmap to produce 12 MTs per annum of washed coking coal by 2030 with ash content between 18%-19% and about 1.4 MTPA at 14% ash.

In a push towards this, CIL has commissioned 2 new coking coal washeries and renovated 3 older versions. It also plans to add 9 more new washeries, at an investment of around Rs.4,000 Crores, of which few will replace the aged ones. The company currently operates 11 coking coal washeries. In an encouraging sign, CIL’s raw coking coal feed to washeries in FY’23 improved by 27% to 6.1 MTs. from 4.8 MTs in FY’22. During this period, production of washed coking coal jumped to about 2.15 MTs compared to 1.6 MT of FY’22 posting 34% growth. Both the performance parameters were at six year high. “Increased exploration of coking coal, opening of new mines, improved efficiency and expansion of the existing mines, reviving discontinued coking coal mines on revenue sharing basis will provide a boost for raising coking coal production. Coupled with increased washing capacity as planned, imports can be reduced to an extent” said a senior official of CIL.

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