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Coal India is on a mining equipment shopping spree costing Rs 10,000 cr

PW Bureau

CIL CMD said that Coal India plans to spend Rs 2,000 crore a year over the next five years to acquire high-capacity earth-moving and excavating equipment

New Delhi: Coal India is planning to spend Rs 10,000 crores on acquiring high-capacity mining equipment in order to meet the target of producing 660 million tonnes of coal in 2019-20. If it manages to do so, the public sector undertaking (PSU) will raise its annual output by 8-9 percent in the current fiscal.

“Coal India’s journey began with 700 mines and seven lakh workers after it was created through nationalisation of coal mines. Today, there are 369 mines and three lakh workers. We closed 2018-19 with a production of 607 million tonnes. Some 70 percent of this production came from 40 mines, where we have modern equipment and technology. Equipment has to be upgraded in other mines to raise output quickly and efficiently,” company chairman Anil Kumar Jha said.

CIL to spend Rs 2,000 cr a year for the next five years

Jha said that Coal India plans to spend Rs 2,000 crore a year over the next five years to acquire high-capacity earth-moving and excavating equipment. “Decision on Rs 7,500 crore worth procurement has been taken. Some of the contracts are in the process of being awarded, while tenders for others have either been floated or are being prepared,” the CMD said. Coal India will spend Rs 2,500-3,000 crore on new equipment in 2019-20.

First major equipment purchase drive in 3-4 years

This is the first major purchase drive undertaking by the world’s largest coal miner. Attempts to upgrade the mining equipment on such a large scale in the past years has remained stalled in the past due to rivalry among a limited number of manufacturer-suppliers globally, giving rise to allegations of bias every time a contract was on the anvil. Coal India meets more than 80 percent of the country’s requirement.