Indian power generators imported 4.03 million tonnes of thermal coal in September, up 20.78% from August but down 22.87% from the same period last year, showed the latest data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
The imports reached a new high since June but still much lower than the average monthly imports of 5.79 million tonnes in 2019, which was mainly due to the lockdown measures to combat COVID-19 pandemic and the government's policy of replacing imported coal with domestic coal.
Among them, 3.18 million tonnes of imported coal were directly used for power generation and 854,000 tonnes were blended with domestic coal.
Among those directly burnt to generate power, 27,900 tonnes were imported by one state-owned power utility and 3.15 million tonnes by nine private power producers. Among those blended with domestic coal, 253,000 tonnes were imported by three state-owned power utilities and 599,300 tonnes by four private generators.
In September, 52 power generators did not import any coal.
Adani Group's Mundra ultra-large power plant was the biggest importer in the month, whose thermal coal imports reached 1.49 million tonnes. Tata Power's Mundra power plant ranked second, which imported 881,500 tonnes of thermal coal, data showed.
In the first five months of fiscal year 2020-21 (April-September), Indian power companies imported a total of 22.15 million tonnes of thermal coal, sliding 34.69% from the corresponding period last year.
As of October 26, Indian power companies stored 33.90 million tonnes of coal in total, which were sufficient to be burnt for 19 days. Specifically, pithead stocks were 6.20 million tonnes and non-pithead stocks were 27.70 million tonnes.
Preliminary statistics from India's mjunction showed that India's coal imports increased 11.6% year on year to 19.04 million tonnes in September, owing to the recovery of coal consumption industries and low coal prices in international markets, comprising 11.97 million tonnes of non-coking coal, slightly up 1.35% from the year-prior level.
(Writing by Shengnan Liu Editing by Tammy Yang)
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