Statement from Michelle Manook
World Coal Association Chief Executive
The World Coal Association acknowledges the significance of India’s coal auctions in what is recognised as a historic moment for the country. We strongly support all countries in their right to choose coal and clean coal technologies, to deliver their economic and environmental aspirations. Today is an important milestone in India’s drive towards ‘24×7 affordable and environmentally friendly power for all by 2022’, with coal enabling economic growth, bringing power to households, and directly supporting the steel and cement industries who will be critical to the success of the ‘Make in India’ campaign. Moreover, the coal auctions will support several other policy objectives of the Indian Government, including Prime Minister Modi’s 1 billion tonne coal vision and economic recovery following COVID-19.
As Prime Minister Modi has made clear, the coal auctions are a major step in developing the economy, with the commercial mining of coal blocks expected to generate Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment over the next five to seven years.
While it’s true that the Indian government has acknowledged the hurdles to investors and businesses, these can be resolved with a collaborative approach. India has a young consumer population and its economic potential is clear: economic liberalisation, strong demand potential and planned infrastructure development all provide positive signs for the expansion of India. Today’s coal auctions emphasise the need for a collective focus and alignment; for industry, governments, investors and key stakeholders to work together to deliver both the economic and environmental objectives of the government reforms which will enhance operational efficiency, innovation, and productivity in India.
Coal will remain a critical contributor for the foreseeable future, to the energy mix and for several industries including steel and cement. India is rightly prioritising their right to develop and deliver the economic and environmental aspirations which will build a sustainable future for the country.
The World Coal Association looks forward to engaging with the Ministry of Coal and working collaboratively with all stakeholders in supporting the economic opportunities underpinned by clean coal.