Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, thermal coal imports at India”s 12 major ports saw a 30.46 per cent plunge at 7.8 million tonnes (MT) in the first month of the current fiscal, as per the ports body IPA.
These Centre-owned ports had handled 11.27 MT of thermal coal in the same month of 2018-19.
The Indian Ports Association (IPA), which maintains cargo data handled by these 12 ports, in its latest report said “percentage variation from previous year” in thermal coal handling was at 30.46 per cent.
Imports of coking and other coal too declined 17.07 per cent at 4.27 MT during the month. These ports had handled 5.15 MT of coking coal in the corresponding month last fiscal.
Thermal coal is the mainstay of India”s energy programme as 70 per cent of power generation is dependent on the dry fuel, while coking coal is used mainly for steel-making.
India is the third-largest producer of coal after China and the US and has 299 billion tonnes of resources and 123 billion tonnes of proven reserves, which may last for over 100 years.
India has 12 major ports — Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) — which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country”s total cargo traffic…Full Story