Coal India Has Not Raised Prices In 4 Years; Planning To List BCCL, CMPDI: Chairman Says In AGM

Coal India Has Not Raised Prices In 4 Years; Planning To List BCCL, CMPDI: Chairman Says In AGM

Coal India Ltd (CIL) Chairman Pramod Agrawal on Tuesday said the miner has not raised prices of the dry fuel in the past four years to ensure its supply at competitive prices to consumers compared to the international market, the PTI said.

According to a report, Agrawal said that the CIL is trying to list subsidiaries Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL) and Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) but asserted that there was no question of demerging them. CIL has a total of eight subsidiaries.

Addressing shareholders at the company’s 48th AGM, Agrawal said that the CIL is committed to increasing its production and supplies to the mandated levels to ensure that the country gets power at a “just” price.

Coal India meets 80 per cent of the country’s dry fuel requirement.

“At a time when international coal prices are much higher, Coal India continues to supply its coal to Indian consumers at highly competitive prices, with no price increase over the last four years,” Agrawal said in his address.

Later replying to shareholders, the CIL chief said that in the prevailing circumstances, bringing all stakeholders on board (for price hike) is difficult.

On the plans to list BCCL and CMPDI, he said there was no question of demerging them. “A part of their shares may get listed but we are working on that… all the approvals are being obtained,” Agrawal said.

The CIL may go for divestment of up to 25 per cent in BCCL and CMPDI, as the company had indicated in the past.

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At the AGM, Agrawal said that coal would continue to fuel India’s electricity generation based on the current usage pattern.

“Out of the country’s electricity generation of 1,490.277 billion units in FY22, coal-based generation accounted for 69.9 per cent or 1,041.459 billion units. This represents a growth of 9.5 per cent over the preceding year,” he said.

He, however, welcomed the government’s impetus for renewables from the environmental perspective and climate commitments made by India in COP 26. “But, till renewable energy starts contributing to the extent that it could take over coal’s role, coal cannot be dethroned from its energy pedestal,” he said.

The entry of renewable energy sources should not be viewed as a “threat” to coal’s standing at least in the immediate future, Agrawal said. He stated that the company was also committed to cleaner energy and was actively considering solar projects in a big way.

He informed the shareholders that pre-feasibility studies were completed during the year to set up integrated Coal-to-Chemical (C2C) plants utilising low-ash coal and tendering process is on.

These plants are proposed to be located near mine heads of ECL, SECL, and WCL to produce methanol, ammonia and ammonium nitrate respectively.

Coal India produced 622.63 million tonnes of coal in FY22 which is the highest since CIL came into being. Production for the year represents an increase of 26.41 million tonnes which is a 4.4 per cent growth over last year.

“Your company’s capital expenditure of Rs.15,400.96 crore in 2021-22 was the highest ever 15.94 per cent growth compared to the capex of Rs 13,283.83 crore of FY21. In the current fiscal, the company had set a target of Rs 16,500 crore capex in various projects,” the CIL boss told shareholders.