Friday, May 13, 2022

Coal India won’t have luxury to retain loss-making coal mines, says Coal Secretary

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  • I think Coal India will not have the luxury to drag on loss-making mines and continue with financially inefficient mines, said the Coal Secretary
  • In 2021, Coal India had announced that it plans to shut down 23 coal mines, including underground and open cast mines

New Delhi: State-run coal miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) will not have the luxury to retain its loss-making coal mines in order to remain competitive in the face of privatisation of coal blocks, Coal Secretary Dr Anil Kumar Jain said on Monday. Addressing a conference organised by Mjunction, the top bureaucrat said that while reforms will make the coal mining sector more vibrant for consumers of coal, but there will be a churn in mining activities. 

“I think Coal India will not have the luxury to drag on loss-making mines and continue with financially inefficient mines,” said Dr Jain. He added that India will have surplus coal for thermal power plants by the next year even though power demand will grow by only 6 percent. The captive sector is likely to produce 130 Million Tonne (MT) of coal next year.

Coal India has closed 82 coal mines in last 3-4 years

The state-run miner has shut down 82 coal mines in the last three-four years. In 2021, Coal India had announced that it plans to shut down 23 coal mines, including underground and open cast mines, as this would help the PSU in saving around Rs 500 crore. Underground coal mines are especially being considered for closure as they are not remunerative. A top Coal India official had said earlier that around 158 of such underground coal mines employ 43 percent of the total workforce but contribute only 5 percent of CIL’s total coal production.

Coal to stay relevant for next 10-15 years: Coal India CMD

Addressing the event, Coal India Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Pramod Agrawal said that coal would continue to play an important role in India’s energy mix for the next 10-15 years. There is a rise in demand for coal as renewable sources have not matured to meet the energy requirement, said Agrawal.

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