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India to maintain its level of thermal coal imports: Fitch

Jun 6,2019

India is expected to maintain the current level of thermal coal imports as the country's power demand is likely to increase, said a report by Fitch Ratings on Monday. Growth in renewable energy capacity may not be able to keep pace, it said.


"Fitch expects India to maintain its level of thermal coal imports," the rating agency said.


Fitch Ratings Inc. is one of the "Big Three credit rating agencies" It is one of the three nationally recognized statistical rating organizations designated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1975.


Domestic output of dry fuel and logistics bottlenecks in coal transportation will also affect the supply of coal to the market, it said. "Indian coal imports increased by about two percent year-on-year in the nine months to March 2019. India's thermal power plant utilization 2018, driven by higher electricity demand and lower capacity addition," it added.


State-owned utilities led the growth in thermal electricity generation; it said adding that the utilization of the central government-owned and private sector plants increased slightly.


Fitch said it expects cost-competitive renewable energy to account for a larger portion of India's electricity generation in the medium term, and to put pressure on thermal plant utilization.


India imported 164.21 million tonnes of non-coking coal in 2018-19 as against 144.99 million tonnes in 2017-18, according to mjunction services, a business-to-business e-commerce company that also publishes research reports on coal and steel verticals. Non-coking coal is mainly used as thermal coal or power general.


India's coal import increased to 233.56 million tonnes in 2018-19 as compared with 214.61 million tonnes imported in 2017-18.