State-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) has identified seven coking coal assets in Australia for acquisition and is also in discussions with a few mine owners in Canada, a parliamentary panel said today.
In its report the Standing Committee on coal and steel said: "The met coke production has increased during the period 2014 - 2017 and for acquiring of coking coal blocks/ mines abroad, CIL has identified several coking coal assets in Bowen basin of 16 Queensland Province, Australia and is also pursuing discussions with few mine owners of coking coal assets in Canada."
The Committee had also recommended earlier that all out efforts may continuously be made to reverse the trend of importing coking coal by steel plants by augmenting the production of coking coal in the country or acquiring of coking coal blocks/mines by CIL abroad, the report said.
The panel appreciated the work of the government in bringing down the import of non-coking coal.
However, the panel was of a view that the use of indigenous coal by the imported coal-based thermal power plants is dependent on policy interventions by the Centre for allowing use of domestic coal along with imported coal as the existing consent is for use of imported coal only.
The Committee said that â€œpolicy intervention for allowing use of domestic coal along with imported coal will not only push the domestic non-coking coal productions but will also result in saving precious foreign exchange of the country by way of reduction in the import,â€� the report said.