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Coal India positive about meeting demand for 25-30 years

At the current rate of production and after taking into account the projected growth, the present reserves of Coal India will suffice to meet India’s demand
New Delhi: At the current rate of coal production and after taking into account the projected growth in the ensuing years, the present reserves of coal mining behemoth Coal India Ltd (CIL) will be adequate to meet the expanding coal demand of the country at least for the next 25 to 30 years, the company said in an official release. Coal resources of Coal India received a major boost after recent allocation of 16 new coal blocks by the government to the Maharatna coal mining PSU. The resource capacity of CIL increased substantially as a result of this move.

‘More blocks will be allocated to Coal India if need be’

Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi has assured Coal India that if need be, more coal blocks will be allocated to CIL. The effort is to increase indigenous coal production to bridge the demand-availability gap. At a recent performance review meeting of CIL, Joshi had expressed confidence that coal will continue to dominate the country’s energy scenario, fuelling half of the country’s power generation even in 2030, despite the inroads being made by renewables.

India’s energy sufficiency

What makes coal a preferred fuel of choice in the country is its abundance, availability and affordability. Allaying apprehensions that CIL’s role may cease soon, a company official said, “A NITI Aayog estimate confirmed that the share of coal in the energy mix in 2040 would be at least 44 percent.” He added, “Since CIL spearheads the country’s coal production, meeting around 82 percent of the entire output, Coal India will continue to play a large role in ensuring the energy sufficiency of the country in the future.” CIL is planning to step up its production, making the country self-reliant in the fossil fuel to the extent possible and reduce import dependency. The company is gearing itself to produce over 900 Million Tonnes (MTs) and become the largest contributor to the country’s 1 BT production target in FY 2024.

Firming up evacuation logistics

Concomitantly, to transport the large quantities of coal produced, the company is also firming up its evacuation logistics by procuring its own rail wagons, switching over to mechanised means of coal transport and mechanised loading in first-mile connectivity in 35 mines identified for the purpose. Each of these mines have a production capacity upwards of 4 MTs. Besides, the Maharatna company is also pursuing rail connectivity in areas where greater quantities of production is expected. In a multi-pronged approach, the company is infusing new technologies, adopting global best practices, pressing for greater cost control and operational efficiency.