Coal imports by state government-run power producers were up 2.6-fold in the first 10 months of the current fiscal as domestic supply dwindled, but overseas purchases by private generators and central entities declined 2.5% during the period.
Overall imports by thermal plants rose 4.6% to 47.96 million tonnes (MT) in this period. A senior executive at a state-owned power generator said increased demand for thermal power forced some of them to step up imports as domestic coal was scarce last summer. The Centre had allowed government-owned generators to import. According to data compiled by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), imports by state-run producers doubled to 5.4 MT during the first 10 months of fiscal 2018-19 from 2.05 MT a year ago.