India imports around 90% of metallurgical coal requirement, which was 56.05 MT in 2022-23. As the steel production rises in the country, the coal imports are likely to rise too. In this direction, the Ministry of Steel and Ministry of Coal have made concerted efforts to raise the level of availability of domestic coking coal for use in steel industries. Following actions have been taken to improve the supply of domestic coking coal:
1. To raise the availability of domestically produced coking coal to steel manufacturers, the Ministry of Coal has 16 coking coal blocks so far, out of which 4 blocks were auctioned in the year 2022-23. Out of these, JSW was allocated two coking coal blocks. JSW is planning to produce 1.54 MTPA (Million Tonnes Per Annum) coking coal from the allocated blocks.
2. Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) invited agencies/companies to mine coking coal from their BCCL owned abandoned/discontinued mines on a revenue sharing basis. Initially, 8 mines were identified and bids have been invited in two rounds, since May 2023. Letter Of Authorization (LoA) has been issued for 4 mines while the bids received for two mines are under finalisation. Further, two more mines have been identified for offering, under the revenue sharing mechanism. Fresh round of bidding is likely to be conducted shortly for these mines, including the remaining mines.
3. Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has entered into an Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with BCCL to get washed coking coal from BCCL washeries. SAIL has signed MoU for getting 1.8 MT of washed coking coal from BCCL washeries. Other than that, limited washed coking coal is also available. Presently, 4 new coking coal washeries are under construction/commissioning by BCCL.
4. BCCL and Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) have offered a linkage auction of the raw coking coal for the steel sector in June 2023. As no bids were received, the same was offered again in July 2023. Tata Steel participated in the auction and got the linkage of 50,000 tonnes of raw coking coal from mines of CCL.
5. The Ministry of Coal has also taken an initiative to bundle setting up of washeries with linkage of coking coal. It has been envisaged that the agencies including steel industries, can setup greenfield washeries or revamp old washeries of BCCL, which will be provided linkage of coking coal. A Transaction Adviser was appointed by BCCL to formulate the methodology and the revised proposal is under approval process of BCCL/CIL.