To enhance coal production and reduce imports, Coal India Ltd (CIL) has identified 15 new projects with a capacity to produce 160 million tonnes per annum, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
Coal India Ltd (CIL) aims to achieve 1 billion tonnes of coal production by 2023-24.
"The focus of the government is on increasing domestic production of coal and to achieve these targets through the allocation of more coal blocks, pursuing with the state government for assistance in land acquisition and co-ordinated efforts with railways for movement of coal... 15 greenfield projects identified with a capacity of about 160 MTPA (Million Tonnes per Annum) to be operated by mine developer cum operator mode," Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi told Lok Sabha.
In order to enhance domestic production, 25 per cent of coal production has been allowed for the sale of coal for the newly-allocated captive coal blocks, he said and added that commercial mining, with a provision for 100 per cent foreign direct investment, has been allowed by the government.
In order to enhance coal production and achieve coal production targets, CIL has initiated a number of steps, including introduction of mass production technology in underground coal mines.
Another coal producing company Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) is planning to open 11 new mines, including two in Talcher in Odisha, the minister said.
He said an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) has been constituted in the Ministry of Coal for the purpose of coal import substitution with representatives from the Ministry of Power (MoP), Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Shipping, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Coal Companies and Ports as its members.
"This committee provides a platform for discussions on a larger forum with the administrative ministries so as to guide them to encourage the coal consumers of their respective sector to eliminate imports of coal. Nine meetings of the IMC have been held so far.
"IMC has also directed for development of an import data system by the Ministry of Coal to enable the ministry to track the imports of coal. CIL has also started an online portal to register the requests of coal consumers willing for import substitution of coal," the minister said.
To reduce coal imports, the Annual Contracted Quantity (ACQ) of the power plants have been increased up to 100 per cent of the normative requirement in those cases where the ACQ was earlier reduced to 90 per cent of normative.
"CIL has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under import substitution for about 12 MTPA coal with the power plants linked with CIL. Accordingly, CIL has allocated 9.53 MT coal to the power plants till February 2021 under import substitution," the coal minister said.