Coal India eyes 1-bn tonne production capacity by 2020

Public sector coal mining giant Coal India Limited (CIL) has unveiled its roadmap to attain the 1-billion tonne coal production capacity by 2019-20 even as demand for the fuel in the country is projected to reach around 1.2 billion tones, still leaving a shortfall of 200 million tonnes.

Coal India expects its coal output to grow at a compounded annual rate of 7 per cent, S Bhattacharya, CMD, Coal India Ltd (CIL), said while briefing the media in New Delhi today.

Of the 1,000 million tonnes coal production envisaged by 2010, CIL expects 908 million tones to come from identified projects.

Bhattacharya said CIL was in the process of identifying projects to share the balance quantity, to top up the 1 billion tonne mark.

Two CIL subsidiaries, Sambalpur-based Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and Bilaspur-based South Eastern Coalfields Limited, are expected to play a pivotal role in CIL's quest of attaining the 1 billion tonnes production with 250 million tonnes and 240 million tones, respectively, Bhattacharya added.

Bhattacharya said the key issues that the coal miner is basically relying on are timely completion of three critical railway lines and timely land acquisition and green clearances.

Elaborating further, Bhattacharya said CIL has created a Coal Project Monitoring Group (CPMG) portal for regular monitoring of project related issues with different ministries and state authorities.

To overcome the hurdle of coal evacuation, CIL has decided to purchase 2000 railway wagons from its own kitty for which a specific fund had been earmarked. The coordination with Railways for implementation has already been initiated, he added.

In a move to synergise its efforts, SECL has already created 2 special purpose vehicles (SPVs) with state governments to develop rail network, including last mile connectivity, involving Railways. More SPVS are on anvil towards grounding railways infrastructure with Railways and concerned state government participations, Bhattacharya stated.

Bhattacharya said that the strategies for future include technology upgradation in opencast mines with high capacity equipment, operator independent truck dispatch system, vehicle tracking system using GPS/GPRS, coal handling plants (CHPs) and SILOS for faster loading and monitoring using laser scanners.

As far as productivity improvement in underground mines is concerned, Bhattacharya said that the steps taken by CIL will include introduction of continuous miner technology in large scale, long-wall technology at selected places, man riding system in major mines and use of tele monitoring techniques.

CIL is also introducing a number of systems improvements that would help the company in realising its challenging target. Use of ICT, remote sensing geophysical technologies and proper monitoring and evaluation methodologies will be the key features, Bhattacharya added.