‘Coal India needs to step up to double-digit growth rate’

Kolkata: Coal India Ltd (CIL), which produces 84 per cent of country’s coal output, “needs to step up to a double-digit growth rate” to meet its production targets, company Chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya said on Wednesday.

“Going forward, in order to meet the production targets, Coal India needs to step up to a double-digit growth rate from that of around 9 per cent achieved in FY2016. During the first four months of FY2017, Coal India’s production growth was more than 6 million tonnes (mt) over the same period last year,” he said while addressing shareholders at the company’s 42nd Annual General Meeting here.

In 2015-16, the state miner produced 538.75 million tonnes of coal against a target of 550 MT and its off-take stood at 534.5 MT. The company envisaged production of 908.10 million tonnes in 2019-20 with a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 12.98 per cent with respect to 2014-15.

“Your company proposes to introduce a new technology for shallow depth investigation with high precision by utilising Ground Probing Radar system. Plans are on for introduction of gravity survey equipment for high depth basement studies of coalfields,” Bhattacharya said.

During 2016-17, the coal production target has been pegged at 598.61 million tonnes with an annualised growth of about 11.6 per cent. In 2017-18, coal production is expected to be 660.7 million tonnes with a growth of about 10.5 per cent.

He said the estimated geological resource of Indian coal stood at 306.59 billion tonnes as on April 1, 2015. On the improvement of quality of coal, Bhattacharya said, “At present, your company has a total coal washing capacity of 36.8 MT per year through its 15 existing washeries and plans to set up 15 more washeries.”

The state-run coal behemoth reported that its consolidated net profit dipped by 14.78 per cent to Rs 3,065.26 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2016, as compared to Rs 3,596.92 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Its net sales for the quarter stood at Rs 17,796.05 crore, down 6.1 per cent from Rs 18,955.75 crore in the year-ago period.

The miner produced 125.67 million tonnes of coal in April-June quarter of the current fiscal against a target of 132.43 MT, achieving 95 per cent of the production target set for the quarter. However, its production grew by 3.56 per cent in the period as compared to 121.35 MT produced in the corresponding period last year.

CIL’s off-take stood at 133.24 million tonnes in the quarter that ended June against a target of 149.88 MT. Its off-take grew by only 2.98 per cent in the quarter as compared to off-take of 129.39 million tonnes in the year ago period.

In its latest annual report, the company said it would invest Rs 7,765 crore as capital expenditure and Rs 5,069 crore in various other projects in 2016-17.