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Domestic Industry

India has the fourth largest proven reserves of coal. Though India has 285.9 billion tonnes of coal reserve, Indian coal is of poor quality, with high ash content. Nearly 87% of Indian coal reserve is of non-coking variety. India’s requirement for coking coal is met primarily through imports. India imported around 35 MT of coking coal in 2013, accounting for around 70% of total coking coal consumption in the country. This would further increase to around 55-60 MT in next 4 to 5 years. The main source of imported coking coal as on date is Australia.

Coke is an essential raw material for many industries. Hence we need to look at the industry structure in line with the major consuming sectors of the economy.

Integrated steel producers
The Indian coke industry is dominated by the integrated steel plants (ISPs). These units possess captive coking facilities. The production of coke by the ISPs is estimated at around 19 million tonnes (2013-14). Coke produced by these units is a blend of imported coal and indigenous varieties; hence, the coke quality differs with each producer and cannot be sold in the open market in large quantities.

Secondary steel sector (Mini Blast Furnaces)
There are currently more than 25 pig iron producing units (mini-blast furnace route). These units need an annual around 10 million tonnes of coke for their operations. Presently, only a few companies possess captive coke manufacturing facilities while the other units rely largely on imported coke.

Foundries, chemical units

Large number of small consumers scattered throughout the country

Their individual consumption is not large enough to justify the setting up of a captive coke plant

Continued dependence on merchant cookeries/imported coke

Cumulative demand by the foundries and soda ash is estimated at around 4-5 million tonnes per annum

Chemical/zinc units

Few units in this category primarily concentrated in the west

Gross annual demand estimated at around 1-2 million tonnes

Demand met by local production.

The demand and production trend of coke in India is:





Integrated steel plants


Integrated steel plants


Secondary steel sector


Secondary steel sector


Foundries, soda ash & others


Merchant Coke Producers










(source:, trade information)

In India, the merchant metallurgical coke capacities are largely situated in western India, logistics and proximity to a large consumer market being the primary factors contributing to this skewed concentration.

In the East, there are a large number of small cokeries with capacities ranging between 6,000 TPA to 48,000 TPA. Their cumulative capacity is estimated at around 50 lac TPA. These units are primarily situated near the Dhanbad coal belt. .

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