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UPDATE 1-India NTPC chief says to import 14 mln T coal

(Updates with quote and background)

NEW DELHI, March 23 (Reuters) - India's top power utility NTPC Ltd NTPC.BO is likely to import 14 million tonnes of coal in the coming financial year 2010/11, a senior company official said on Tuesday.

“This financial year our target was to import 12.5 million tonnes, out of which we have imported only 5-6 million tonnes so far,” said R.S. Sharma, chairman of NTPC, on the sidelines of a conference.

The 14-million-tonne target for the next fiscal year would include a spillover of 8-9 million tonnes from some of the orders placed in the current financial year, Sharma added. India’s coal requirement is growing on the back of the power sector that is seeing expansions year on year owing to a 12.6 percent power deficit.

To see a graphic on India's coal consumption by power utilities, click: here

To see a graphic on India’s coal imports, click:

here (Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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