Coal India gearing up for 1-bn tonne coal production

State-owned maharatna coal miner Coal India Limited (CIL), has unveiled a road map, of strategies to be adopted, to attain the one billion tonne (BT) coal production mark by 2019-20.

With coal demand expected  to be 1,200 million tonnes (MTs) by 2019-20, at growth rate of 7 per cent, CIL is expected to produce 1 billion tonnes of which 908 million tonnes will come from already indentified projects.

The process of identification of projects to share the remaining, is also underway. The two CIL subsidiaries - Sambalpur-based Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and the Bilaspur-based South Eastern Coalfields Limited are expected to play a major role in CIL's quest of attaining the one billion tonne production with 250 MTs and 240 MTs respectively, CIL says.

The public sector miner 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 had decided to purchase 2,000 railway wagons from its own resources for which a specific fund had been earmarked.

CIL says 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 clearance.

South Eastern Coalfields has two special purpose vehicles (SPVs) with state governments to delvelop rail network including last mile connectivity, involving the railways.

Another SPV between the coal ministry, railways ministry and the government of Jharkhand was signed on 4 May to develop the critical Tori-Shivpur-Kathotia line.

The coal ministry's strategies for the future include technology upgradation in open-cast mines with high capacity equipment, 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, 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.