In an effort to move towards one billion tonne coal production by 2023-24, state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) has approved 32 mining projects in the current financial year till January, which may see investment to the tune of around Rs 47,300 crore.
While 24 of the 32 are an expansion of the existing projects, the rest eight are new greenfield projects. The combined incremental peak capacity of these projects is projected at 193 million tonnes per year (MT/Y). This will be in addition to the already sanctioned capacity of 303.5 MT/Y. The incremental production by FY2024 from the approved 32 expansion and the new greenfield projects would be to the tune of around 81 MT/Y.
CIL has lined up a total investment of about Rs 92,000 crore for its coal projects with an aim to achieve one billion tonne coal production by 2023-24 which include likely investment in coal evacuation infrastructure, mining infrastructure, project development and social infrastructure. However, CIL is also coming up with an estimated likely investment of about Rs 1.26 lakh crore involving 506 projects which include likely investment in clean coal, diversification initiatives like solar, thermal power, and fertilisers apart from investments in coal mining projects.
CIL Board and boards of the respective subsidiary companies have given their nod for the move. “Such high number, either in terms of projects or capacity addition, has not been cleared in a single financial year so far,” said a senior official of the company. CIL is targeting to replace coal imports through its own coal and an increase in domestic production would play a catalytic role in this effort, the company said.
Of the 193 MT/Y capacity, of 32 projects, the three subsidiaries of CIL, South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL), Central Coalfields Ltd CCL) and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) share at least 167 MT/Y or 86.5 percent of the incremental peak capacity. SECL with six projects at an estimated incremental investment of Rs.18,657 crore accounts for 63.5 MT/Y, followed by CCL at an investment of Rs.7,520 crore for 10 projects of 56.6 MT/Y. MCL with three projects would add up to 47 MT/Y at an investment of Rs 14,057 crore. The rest, nearly 26 MTs/Y, would be met through ECL, NCL and WCL with the remaining investment between them.
“Concurrently, in tandem with production the company is also strengthening the rail evacuation infrastructure through setting up rail lines, sidings and first-mile connectivity projects in the companies from where the majority of the output is expected,” the official added.