Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Quality of CIL’s coal supplies registers improvement as grade slippage drops

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  • CIL is inducting two more globally reputed agencies for its third party sampling initiatives

  • In a first, online ash analysers are being procured for the mines of NCL and MCL for real-time coal quality assessment

New Delhi: Coal India Limited’s (CIL) underpinning for better quality coal supplies reflected positive jump in the third party sample analysis as the grade conformity during April-February 2020-21 improved to 65 percent from 59 percent compared to the same period last year, said CIL in an official statement on Wednesday. Grade slippage during the third quarter of FY21 was down to 34 percent compared to 41 percent during the same period a year ago. During the first two months of the current fiscal’s fourth quarter, January to February, grade slippages declined further to 23 percent compared to 42 percent of the last year’s same period. 

CIL to rope in 2 globally reputed agencies for coal sampling

“The notion that customers are billed for higher grade coal than one actually supplied is misconceived. CIL initially bills customers based on the declared grade of coal supplied. Such provisional bills are later adjusted, once the actual quality of coal is tested and established by an authorised Third Party Sampling agency which are Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research and Quality Council of India. This mutually agreed system of sampling is in vogue since 2016. CIL is further inducting two more globally reputed agencies for its third party sampling initiatives,” said the statement.
 
“No consumer suffers financial loss arising out of quality variation between the declared grade and the actual tested grade,” said a senior executive of the company.

Contrary to losing out on the quality front CIL, till January, stands to receive Rs 571 crore as net quality bonus for providing better coal than declared grade. This is expected to go up to around Rs 660 crore, considering the trend of referee results received during the ongoing fiscal year. 

Grading of coal
 
Primary reason for grade variations is the inherent heterogeneous nature of Indian coal itself meaning, calorific value of coal extracted within the same seam at different points tends to vary. The gradation of mines is determined by the Coal Controller’s Office annually which is a statutory body under GoI, and not by coal companies.

The analysis between weighted average of declared Gross Calorific Value (GCV) and analysed GCV during April-January shows the variation to be 26 K.cal/Kg which is lesser than one-tenth of a grade band, compared to same period last year.  The difference between two bands of a grade is 300 K.Cal/Kg. 

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Further, there is a provision in the agreement for challenging the result of the Third Party Sampling either by consumers or the coal company based on the analysis results obtained at their ends. In case of challenge, the part of coal samples preserved is sent to the designated government referee laboratory for re-analysis, as well. 

Here’s how CIL is ensuring better quality of coal

CIL’s use of surface miners entail blast free selective mining leading to better quality coal output with added advantage of consistent sized coal. Surface miner output logged 5.8 percent growth at 220 MTs during April-February 2020-21 compared to 208 MTs extracted through these machines in the same period last year. CIL is confident of surpassing the last year’s output of 269 MTs achieved through surface miners. 

CIL is also pushing ahead for utilisation of mechanical scraping to remove extraneous material, use of mobile crushers for supply of sized coal, transportation of coal from mines to loading points in first mile connectivity. In a first, online ash analysers are being procured for the mines of NCL and MCL for real-time coal quality assessment. The slew of measures will further help CIL in consolidating its quality supplies.

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