Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Coal
03-January-2018 04:58IST
High Ash content

Ash content of coal produced in the country is generally 25 to 45 % whereas average ash content of imported coal varies from 10 to 20 %. Indian Coal has comparatively higher ash content than imported coal due to drift theory of formation of coal deposits in India. Coal seams formed due to drift theory contains higher ash as compared to in-situ theory of formation.

As per Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change (MOEF&CC) stipulation, coal based thermal power plant (situated beyond 500 km from the pit-head) be supplied with, and shall use, raw or blended or beneficiated coal with ash content not exceeding thirty-four percent, on quarterly average basis.  Coal Companies are supplying coal to their customers maintaining ash percentage below 34% on quarterly average basis as per the aforesaid MOEF&CC stipulation.

Coal India Limited has taken following steps to adopt international standards in Coal Mining:

  1. Deployment of surface miners (during 2016-17 around 46% of total production achieved using surface miner) for selective mining;
  2. Deployment of high capacity Heavy Earth Moving Machinery (HEMM) i.e. up to 240 Te dumpers and up to 42 Cu.m bucket capacity shovels;
  3. Replacement of manual method of underground mining by mechanized and semi-mechanized mining method.


As per the current import policy, coal is kept under Open General License (OGL) and consumers are free to import coal from the source of their choice as per their contractual prices on payment of applicable duty.

In view of the buoyant production and adequate availability of domestic coal, it has been an endeavor to reduce the import of coal by power plants and to substitute it with domestic coal supply. In this regard, Coal India Limited (CIL) has taken the following steps for promotion of substituting imported coal with indigenous coal:


  1. Rationalization of sources by part of coal supply coming from sources of higher grade coal. 
  2. Offering coal from various sources including higher grades through various types of e-auction schemes including special forward e-auction for power sector.
  3. Taking intuitive like flexible tenure of coal lifting, reductions of EMD and of floor price in coal auction for power sector consumers.
  4. Sanction of coal linkages under SHAKTI policy.


However, the gap between demand and supply of coal cannot be bridged completely as there is insufficient domestic availability of coking coal and power plants designed on imported coal will continue to import coal for their production.

This Press Release is based on the information given by the Minister of Railways and Coal Shri Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on 03.01.2018 (Wednesday).