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India's coal and lignite production hits highest level of 1 billion tonnes in FY24, says coal minister

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New Delhi, Apr 1 (PTI) The country has for the first time crossed the milestone of 1 billion tonnes of coal and lignite production in the financial year 2023-24, Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Monday.

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India's total coal and lignite output was at 937 million tonnes (MT) in the preceding 2022-23 fiscal, as per official figures.

"Proud to share that under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, we have registered a stellar achievement by crossing 1 billion tonne (BT) coal and lignite production," Joshi said.

It is a historic moment for India as the country has achieved the highest-ever production, and it will go a long way in ensuring energy security to the nation. The continuous efforts to increase domestic coal production has ensured that going forward the country will never have to face coal shortage, the minister said.

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Joshi further said, "I thank the officials of the sector, all the coal warriors and private miners for their grit and hard work in helping achieve mission-1BT. Owing to your support we have registered 70 per cent growth in production over the last 10 years." The country is not very far from its next target to eliminate coal imports by 2025-26, he said.

The share of imported coal for blending purposes has gone down this fiscal compared to last financial year, Joshi told PTI last month.

In FY24, coal import for blending was around 22.20 million tonnes, while it was at 30.80 million tonnes in the financial year 2022-23. Savings to the tune of Rs 82,264 crore had been made through the reduction of coal imports in just one year, Joshi said.

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According to the official data, the combined coal and lignite production was at 1,039.57 MT, while the despatch was at 1,016.71 MT during FY24.

Of the 1,039.57 MT, the coal production was at 997.39 MT, up 11.67 per cent over the previous fiscal year's production of 893.19 MT.

The 42.18 MT lignite production was 5 per cent lower from 44 MT lignite produced in 2022-23 fiscal.

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The coal production has registered a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.83 per cent till 2023-24 from 2013-14 when the output was at 565.77 MT.

Furthermore, the nation exceeded previous dispatch records by sending out 973.31 MT of coal during FY24 over 877.36 MT in the preceding fiscal year.

The despatch has grown at a CAGR of 5.46 per cent from 572.06 MT during FY14.

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Of the total coal dispatched during FY24, 805.35 MT was allocated to the power sector, indicating an 8.16 per cent growth compared to FY23, while 167.96 MT was directed towards non-regulated sectors such as steel, cement, and sponge iron, showcasing a remarkable growth of 26.51 per cent.

This achievement was facilitated by the railways, which supplied an average of 393.1 daily rakes during FY24, compared to 371.55 in FY23, demonstrating a notable growth of 5.8 per cent.

The implementation of First Mile Connectivity Projects has notably enhanced overall logistics efficiency by optimizing coal transportation in an eco-friendly manner.

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Coal-based power generation experienced a significant surge, recording a 9.98 per cent increase to 1244.81 billion units (BU) during FY 2023-24, compared to 1131.84 BU during FY 2022-23.

Additionally, coal and lignite-based power generation witnessed a CAGR of 5.46 per cent, generating 1269.81 BU in FY 2023-24 compared to 746.09 BU during FY 2013-14.

The coal stock is around 161 MT in the country, with 47.38 MT allocated to domestic coal-based thermal power plants as of March 31, 2024, ensuring uninterrupted power supply nationwide. PTI ABI HVA

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