Amidst the rising coal shortage, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu—India’s top industrialized states are planning to import as much as 10.5 million tonnes of coal in the coming months, Reuters reported citing sources.
The move, which has been taken to arrest the massive power outages, is likely to push the international coal prices to a new high.
According to the report, Maharashtra is planning for 8 million tonnes of coal imports, whereas Gujarat is likely to place an order for 1 million tonnes of coal to be imported. Tamil Nadu, which has already placed an order of 1.5 million tonnes, is aiming to import 20 per cent of its coal requirements.
Notably, the three states were the biggest power consumers, accounting for nearly one-third of the country's power consumption last year.
Other states namely Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana, are also cumulatively aiming to import 10 million tonnes of coal. Last week, the central government had asked states to import 10 per cent of their coal requirements, to stave off shortages, and to address record-high power demands.
India’s largest electricity producer, National Thermal Power Corporation is also planning to import coal to the record high in eight years, as per the report.
The country’s power demand has been the highest in the past 38 years, whereas the coal inventories are at their lowest in past nine years.