CIL moves ahead to meet billion-tonne production target

Coal India Limited (CIL), the Maharatna coal mining monolith, has unveiled the roadmap to attain one billion tonne coal production by 2019-20, even as the country's coal demand is projected grow to 1,200 million tonnes by that time.

At an average growth rate of 7 per cent, CIL expects to produce one billion tonnes of coal by 2019-20, of which 908 million tonnes is expected to come from indentified projects. CIL is in the process of identifying projects to share the balance quantity, to top up the one billion mark.

The two CIL subsidiaries – Sambalpur-based Mahanadi Coalfields Limited and the Bilaspur based South Eastern Coalfields Limited - are expected to play a pivotal role in CIL's quest of attaining the one billion tonne production with 250 million tonnes and 240 million tonnes, respectively.

The key strategies that the coal miner is basically relying on are timely completion of three critical railway lines and timely land acquisition and green clearance.

CIL is setting up 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, for which a specific fund had been earmarked. The coordination with the Railways for implementation has already been initiated.

In a move to synergise its efforts, SECL already has set up 2 special purpose vehicles (SPVs) with state governments to develop rail network, including last mile connectivity, involving Railways. Another SPV between the ministry of coal, ministry of railways and government Jharkhand was signed on 4 May 2015 for the critical Tori-Shivpur-Kathotia line.

The strategies for future include technology upgradation in opencast mines with high capacity equipment, operator independent truck dispath 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.

CIL is also introducing a number of systems improvements that would help the company in realising the target. Use of ICT, remote sensing geophysical technologies and proper monitoring and evaluation methodologies will be the key features. In addition, the corporate giant has come up with a unique scheme for online vigilance clearance system, which was inaugurated by minister of state for power, coal and new and renewable energy, Piyush Goyal, in Kolkata on Friday.

CIL also opened its new head quarters at a new building at a sprawling 27,000 sq. ft area at New Town Rajarhat. The new building has been built by the National Building Corporation NBCC, a public sector company.