Indian power generators imported 3.41 million tonnes of thermal coal in February, down for the fourth straight month and hitting a new low since September last year, showed the latest data from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
The imports slumped 48.09% from the year-ago level and fell 12.02% compared with the preceding month, data showed.
High thermal coal prices and surge in global freight rate hindered purchases appetite of power utilities in India in the month.
About 2.82 million tonnes of imported coal were directly used for power generation in February and 587,600 tonnes were blended with domestic coal.
Among those directly burnt to generate power, 80,900 tonnes were imported by one state-owned power utility and 2.74 million tonnes by 10 private power producers. Among those blended with domestic coal, 127,700 tonnes were imported by one state-owned power utilities and 459,900 tonnes by three private generators.
In February, 54 power generators did not import any coal.
Tata Power's Mundra power plant was the biggest thermal coal importer in the month, with imports reaching 1.15 million tonnes. Adani Group's Mundra ultra-large power plant ranked second, importing 829,100 tonnes of thermal coal, data showed.
In the first 11 months of fiscal year 2020-21 (April 2020 - February 2021), Indian power companies imported a total of 42.42 million tonnes of thermal coal, sliding 34% from the corresponding period last year.
(Writing by Emma Yang Editing by Harry Huo)
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