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India may avail of Australian coal

Australia has invited Indian cos to capitalise on its huge reserves of coking coal and forge agreements in this regard.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 13:44 IST

Australia has invited Indian companies to capitalise on its huge reserves of coking coal, a raw material for steel industry, and forge agreements in this regard.

"We have resources that can help India develop its steel industry and in the current scenario resource security is the most important aspect," said Ian Mcdonald, NSW Minister for Natural Resources, Primary Industries and Mineral Resources, Australia, participating in the three-day long international conference on global steel 2006.

The conference, attended by various trade bodies, industry associations and bureaucrats with prominent Australian presence through Australian Trade Commission, is aimed at having a brainstorming session on future of the industry.

"We have significant resources of coking coal and companies associated with the steel industry can secure this coal as it is basic raw material for them", he said.

While India is dependent on Australia for steel-industry based on raw material, Australia looks at India for its technological advancement in the information technology field, stated mcdonald.

"We can further our relationship by spreading technology based communication industry", he said.

"A lot of companies are keen to ink joint venture agreements with Australia and secure the supply. Ensuring security of raw material supply is most important for any industry," said JP Singh, former Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Steel and present Chief Secretary, Goa.

Mcdonald said that during the conference three Indian companies evinced interest for joint venture with Australian companies.

"The talks are yet to begin with these companies", he added.

Of the 20 million tonne coking coal imported by India, a major share comes from Australia.

In coal production, China is the biggest producer, which has registered 1,947 million tonnes of coal production in 2004, followed by the US, which pegs its production at 1,043 million tonnes. India ranks third with 397 million tonnes and Australia with 375 million tonnes, stated industry experts.

"The Australian presence for the conference is especially important as India will have to increasingly look at them (Australia) to quench its ever growing hunger for energy resources," commented Neil Bristow, Co-chairman of Conference.