Indian steel mills using imported coking coal for their blast furnaces are looking for alternatives to reduce dependency on Australia, one of the largest suppliers to India.
India imports about 56mn mt of coking coal as per official data, of which 45mn mt is imported from the continent nation alone. Russia is another supplier to India with east Russia being a good source, said MD and CEO of Tata Steel, TV Narendran in a recent media interaction.
South Africa, Canada and the US are other countries from where India imports coking coal.
Tata Steel recently tested coking coal from Russia, a significant development in the domestic steel industry.
Domestic steelmakers have come out in support the Indian government’s initiative to look for alternative options for sourcing cooking coal.
Narendran said exploring other markets is necessary as Australia often faces weather issues like cyclone.
Tata Steel produces steel using blast furnace at its 11mn mt plant at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and 3mn mt plant at Kalinganagar in Odisha.
Earlier, Steel Authority of India Ltd (Sail) Chairman A K Chaudhary had announced a similar initiative by the state-owned steelmaker.
SAIL imports around 90pc of the total coking coal requirement and rest is sourced from Coal India ltd. Out of total imports, 70pc is from Australia, according to a company update in the recent Q2 results performance highlights.