Sunday, May 22, 2022

Power crisis has shown India needs coal; coal requirement to double by 2040: Joshi

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Mumbai: Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi said on Friday that the current power crisis has driven home the point that India needs coal and India’s requirement for coal is expected to double by 2040 as electrification of various sectors rises. “The current power crisis has driven home the point that India needs coal. And the need for coal is going to double because electrification of transport is happening at a fast pace. And cooking will shift to electricity. According to a study, India’s requirement for coal is going to double by 2040. From where will you bring this electricity?,” the minister said.

Addressing an investors’ event on the launch of 20 discontinued/abandoned coal mines of Coal India Ltd (CIL) and the roadmap for coal gasification, the minister stressed on the importance of coal, saying that India’s total electricity generation stood at 1,490 Billion Units (BU) on Friday, out of which coal-based electricity accounted for 1,107 BU.

‘Need to put an end to import of thermal coal’

Addressing the investors at the event, Joshi said that the target of the Coal Ministry is to minimise the import of thermal coal and to make the country Aatmanirbhar in the sector. “We have a target to produce enough coal to meet the country’s requirements through domestic production alone. We need to put an end to import of thermal coal,” the minister told the investors.

“Not long ago, people used to say the need for coal is going to reduce but we are currently witnessing a surge in coal requirements,” said the minister. He added, “Extractable reserve in the closed/discontinued coal mines is around 380 million tonnes, 30-40 million tonnes of coal can be easily extracted from the mines.” He further said  that the continuation of mining activities will help in increasing the coal supply to TPPs while creating employment opportunities for local people.

CIL to offer 20 closed coal mines to private sector

At the event, state-run coal miner Coal India Limited (CIL) said that it will offer its 20 closed/discontinued underground coal mines to the private sector to reopen and bring into production on revenue sharing model. The Investors’ Meet was organised in Mumbai to sensitise the private sector about the offer.

Minister of State (MoS) for Coal Raosaheb Patil Danve said India has the 5th largest reserves of coal in the world. He said, “The government’s aim is to increase domestic coal production to 1.2 billion metric tonnes by FY 23-24.” He added, “As a fuel, coal is the biggest contributor to the energy mix. The initiative will pave the way for the deployment of the latest mining technology, robust systems and processes.”

Coal Secretary Dr Anil Kumar Jain said this is a golden opportunity for investors. He said, “These closed mines have been operated upon which means infrastructure is ready and the entry barriers and financial barriers are minimum.”

“This move of Coal India aims to fulfil the ever-growing demand for fuel in the Indian economy,” said the Ministry of Coal. The closed/discontinued underground coal mines are spread over five subsidiaries of CIL, namely ECL, BCCL, CCL, SECL and WCL.

Joshi and Danve launch ‘Technology Roadmap for Coal Sector’

The Investors’ Meet was attended by key stakeholders like BHEL, Hindalco, Adani, JSPL, Reliance Industries, Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd, Ultra Tech Cement, Vedanta and other leading industry players.

“This move will also ensure safety and maintain the social, environmental, and operational sustainability at these mines through the help of private participation. It will also open livelihood opportunities for the local populace and support the end-use industries dependent upon coal. States will also benefit through enhanced revenues to be garnered in the form of royalty,” said the Coal Ministry in a statement.

Joshi and Danve also launched the “Technology Roadmap for Coal Sector,” prepared by the Ministry of Coal. “This roadmap will lead to the adoption and implementation of new technologies and enhance work environment, mining operations, including safety and productivity, environmental protection, increase productivity, improve coal recovery and reduce costs. The Technology Roadmap will be taken as a benchmark document for coal companies to adopt new technologies and build digital infrastructure to support current and future ramp-up for the mines,” said the Coal Ministry.

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