Coal India mulls bulk exports for first time

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Coal India Ltd. (CIL), the world’s largest coal miner, plans to directly export output to neighbouring countries, according to sources and documents seen by Reuters, after decades of exclusively supplying domestic consumers.

The state-run firm plans to export to Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, according to a draft policy sent to the Secretary of India’s Coal Ministry and reviewed by Reuters, as a part of India’s ‘neighbourhood-first’ policy which seeks to counter China’s growing economic influence in South Asia.

The proposal was confirmed by Coal India’s chairman to Reuters this week, although a critical coal shortage in India now means the first such shipments would be unlikely until the end of this year. “We would have ideally wanted to start exporting this financial year (ending March 2022), if not for the energy crisis,” Coal India Chairman Pramod Agrawal told Reuters.

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