The domestic industry must begin using coal through gasification technology, JSPL Managing Director V R Sharma said, emphasising that the process is environment-friendly and carbon emissions are minimal.
The gasification technology will also help India overcome the shortage of oil, gas, methanol, ammonia, urea and other products, making the country Aatmanirbhar, he told PTI.
"The domestic industry should use coal through the gasification process. Burning coal in open furnaces should be stopped. When we gasify coal, carbon emission are minimal ," Sharma said.
India has coal reserves for another 300 years and the time is ripe to use them, he said.
Coal can be converted into syngas which can be used for producing power, petrol, diesel and other petroleum products, which can reduce dependence on crude oil imports, he explained.
Syngas can be also used in sponge iron making, by the glass and ceramic industry and even in cooking. Further, India can produce the cheapest hydrogen through the coal gasification route, the MD said.
Usage of gasification technology will not only make the country Aatmanirbhar for such products but also save a lot of forex that goes out of India, he said.
The government has set a target of gasifying 100 million tonne empty coal. This should be increased to 500 MT, Sharma said.
According to Sharma, India has coal reserves of 350 billion tonne and is the largest producer and supplier of coal.Coal India Ltd(CIL) does not produce even one billion tonne.
He recently said India consumes 1,200 million tonne of thermal coal or steam coal per year. However, CIL produces 800 MT annually, a shortfall of 400 MT.
In this way, it will take hundreds of years to use the domestic coal reserves, Sharma had said suggesting CIL must produce 100 MT coal per month to meet the annual demand of 1,200 MT, which comes from various industries like steel, power, aluminium and copper etc.
Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) is already using the coal gasification technology at its Angul plant in Odisha. It is India's first and the only plant producing steel from swadeshi coal using the coal gasification technology.