Indian power utilities imported around 19.29 million mt of imported steam coal in April-July 2017, down 14.7% compared with the same period a year ago, according to data from India's Central Electricity Authority.
Of the total, 13.39 million mt coal was imported for power plants running on imported coal while 5.9 million mt was imported for blending with domestic coal, the data showed.
Out of 5.9 million mt, around 2.09 million mt was imported by six state-run utilities for their power stations to blend with domestic coal and the balance was imported by 11 private power producers for blending purpose.
In the case of plants running on imported coal, 430,000 mt was imported by one state-run utility while 12.96 million mt was imported by 10 private sector power utilities.
Twenty-nine utilities did not import any coal in the first four months of the current fiscal year (2017-18) and data was not available for one.
Adani Power imported the highest quantity of coal at 4.28 million mt followed by Tata's Mundra ultra mega power project at 3.3 million mt and JSW Energy at 1.28 million mt.
Imported coal shipments into the country have been falling for the last couple of years as enhanced production by state-run miner Coal India Limited pushes the country from coal scarcity to a surplus.
India's largest power utility, state-run NTPC Limited, which used to be the largest importer of steam coal to meet the shortfall of dry fuel from domestic sources, has not placed any orders for coal imports since August 2015, according to government sources.
The power sector imported 65.12 million mt steam coal in fiscal year 2016-17, which ended March 31, down 19% on year.