Coal India to float 6-million tonne import tender in July

Coal India, the world's biggest coal producer, yesterrday said that it would float a tender in July to import coal for the first time to help it meet the increasing demand from utilities.

Quoting an unnamed senior executive Dow Jones Newswires reported that the state-run Coal India would issue the tender for the import of 6 million tonnes of coal - its first import tender ever since the company was formed in 1975.

According to a Central Electricity Authority (CEA) forecast, Indian utilities would need to import around 35 million tonnes by March 2011.

India has not imported any coal in the financial year that started in April, says coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal.

The executive told Dow Jones that the tender would be for import of coal for NTPC, Damodar Valley Corp and some other untilities.
India's coal fired plants generate around two-thirds of the 771.17 billion KW hours of electricity India produced in the year ended 31 March.

According to the CEA, shortages of locally produced coal and delays in imports have caused disruption of power output, resulting in an estimated loss of 14.47 billion KWh of generation in the past year.