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India’s coal production jumped by 18.59% to 78.65 million tons in October compared to the same month last year, data from the Indian Ministry of Coal showed on Friday.
Between April and October, the first seven months of the Indian fiscal year 2023/2024, Indian coal production also rose, by 13.05% year-on-year to 507 million tons, according to the data.
Coal India, the giant producer accounting for 80% of the country’s coal output, saw its production rise by 15.36% year-over-year in October, and by 11.95% between April and October.
India’s coal-fired power generation jumped by 38.98% in October this year compared to October 2022, and overall power generation last month was 22.83% higher than the power generated in the same month of 2022, the official ministry data showed.
“The Ministry of Coal remains resolute in its commitment to ensuring continuous coal production and distribution, thereby securing a dependable energy supply that bolsters the nation's ongoing development,” it said.
India continues to rely heavily on coal for power generation and industry development. Coal still generates around 70% of the country’s electricity.
India had anticipated that its power generation from coal would increase in the current fiscal year as authorities plan to have coal-fired units maximize electricity production from imported coal to meet rising demand.
Early this year, India’s government expected coal-fired power plants to use 8% more coal in the financial year between March 2023 and March 2024, as demand is set to continue rising thanks to growing economic activity and unpredictable weather.
Last year India’s state power giant NTPC said it could increase its coal-generation capacity as it prioritizes energy security after the power outages in the spring of 2022.
The coal phase-out in India is “going to take 2-3 decades, if not more,” NTPC’s chairman Gurdeep Singh said at the time.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com