Indian demand for Aussie coal to stay strong: economist

India will continue seeking a steady supply of coal from Australia to help the subcontinent's underperforming power plants meet rising demand for electricity, according to an Australian resource economist.

That bodes especially well for miners in Queensland, John Rolfe, professor at CQUniversity in Rockhampton, told Australia's ABC News.

The Australian state has a number of new multi-billion-dollar mines in the Galilee Basin awaiting development approval, according to online magazine Australian Mining.

Increasing demand for electricity in India has left local coal producers unable to fully supply the country's power plants.

As a result, India imported 152 million tonnes of the fossil fuel last year to cover 20% of its needs, the magazine said.

New Delhi is even considering asking state-run Coal India Ltd. (NSE:COALINDIA) to import more coal and pool it with domestic supply to help power plants run at optimal levels.

Rolfe said India sees Australia as a dependable source of high quality coal.