New Delhi: The demand-supply gap of coal may widen to 266 million tonnes (MT) by 2016-17, primarily due to the rising demand from thermal power plants, according to management and development consulting firm IMaCS.
"The increasing demand of coal in coal-based power plants in India is estimated to grow seven percent annually to lead a demand-supply gap of 266 MT in FY2017," ICRA Management Consulting Services Ltd (IMaCS) said.
The country's demand of imported coal would be mainly from the power sector, followed by steel, it added.
"Although India's coal needs will continue to be largely met domestically, the share of imports in domestic demand is forecast to increase in FY2017," it said.
Lower growth in the country's domestic coal production and inadequate availability of domestic coking coal have resulted in coal imports increasing to 101 MT in the last fiscal, it added.
The country's coal demand, according to it, increased to 635 MT in 2011-12. Dominated by the power sector, followed by steel and cement.
India's energy supply and demand is likely to be dominated by coal for many decades to come, primarily because of its lower costs and abundant availability. India's coal resources and reserves are enormous when compared with limited oil and gas reserves, it said.
IMaCS has an experience in management and and development consulting across various sectors and countries. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ICRA Ltd, one of the country's leading rating agencies.
IMaCs operated as an independent division of ICRA till March 2005, when it was demerged from ICRA and became a standalone company in its present form.
According to CIL, which accounts for over 80 percent of the domestic coal production, missed its output target during the previous fiscal and produced 435.84 MT against its revised target of 447 MT.