India to ramp up coal production to 1,149 MT by 2023

New Delhi: Union Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi said that the government is undertaking measures to ramp up the domestic coal production from 730 MT to 1,149 MT by 2023. The move is aimed at eliminating the coal import, except for the limited un-substitutable import. He was addressing the 7th Roundtable Conference on Coal in which experts from coal and energy sectors participated on Tuesday.

The news comes on a day when trade unions at state-run Coal India observed a day-long strike against the Centre’s decision to allow 100 percent FDI in coal mining. The move is aimed at opening up the sector to competition and thereby boosting domestic coal production.
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‘Despite RE push, India will need coal’

The Union Minister opined that despite the push for renewable energy, the country will require base load capacity of coal-based generation for stability. Currently coal occupies 55 percent share in primary energy supply and about 75 percent in electricity generation. Joshi said that the government is opening new mines, expanding the capacity of existing mines and creating new evacuation infrastructure to ramp up the domestic coal production. CIL alone is poised to commission 11 new coking coal washeries in a phased manner to meet the total demand of washed domestic coking coal of steel sector, he added.

‘India will be able to boost coal production’

Outlining the initiatives that the government has taken, such as, easing of mine plan approval, doing away with the system of previous approval from the Centre for the grant of mining lease, streamlining the grant of permits and clearances, greater coordination with state in matters relating to land acquisition, grant of lease, creation of sufficient coal evacuation infrastructure, Joshi expressed confidence in boosting the domestic availability of coal in the years to come. The Minister also highlighted the efforts of his coal ministry to promote diversified use of coal such as conversion of coal to synthesis gas and subsequent use of the latter to produce methanol or fertilisers.