To increase the supply of raw materials, 8 blocks of coking coal will be auctioned: Minister of Steel

According to Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of Steel, at least eight coking coal blocks would be put up for auction as India seeks to strengthen its own resources and lessen reliance on imported coal. India is still looking at “alternatives” and has conversations with nations like Russia, Mozambique, and Australia. Coking coal is a crucial raw material in the production of steel, and India, the second-largest producer of crude steel worldwide, is one of the major importers of coking coal. India needs about 57 million tonnes (mt) of coking coal annually, and about 90% of that is imported.

A ministry document states that in FY22, tax revenues on coal imports totaled 1,02,791 crore. “To ensure our cooperation on the problem of coking coal, we signed an MoU with the Russian Federation in October of last year. In an interview, he said, “We are also considering additional areas like Mozambique and Australia, among others, where we aim to start sourcing and diversifying our coking coal requirements.”

According to Scindia, the mission discusses constructing a coal gasification plant with a 100 mt annual capacity, which can “ease” the problem by making better use of the coal that is already readily available in the area. The third approach is to put up more coking coal blocks for auction so that the private sector can enter and establish washeries. Another component of the strategy is to access different nations for getting coking coal. Because of its extremely high ash level, Indian coking coal cannot be used in steel factories.

The largest miner in the world, Coal India, has also been contacted about increasing coking coal washing capacities to 40 mt. Two of the proposed washeries, located at Patherdih I (5 MTY) and Dahibai (1.6 MTY), both by Bharat Coking Coal Ltd., have reportedly been put into operation, according to CIL officials (BCCL). It is anticipated that Madhuband Washery (with 5.0 mtpa) will be finished and put into service in FY22. BCCL is to build three new coking coal washeries with a combined capacity of 7 mtpa, and Central Coalfields Ltd. is building six washeries with a combined capacity of 18.5 mtpa. “If India’s steel production capacity is projected to reach 300 mtpa by 2030–2011, our coking coal needs are also anticipated to increase, to a level of about 160 mt.

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