Millennium Post

CIL sets 652 mt production target, to close 53 UG mines

Kolkata: Giving a fillip to the government's traget to supply more coal to the power sector, Coal India Limited has taken an aspirational production target of 652 million tonne for 2018-19 against an initial target of 630 million tonne for the year.

Supply to the power sector has been set at 525 million tonne for this fiscal as against 454 million tonne supplied in 2017-18, Coal India Limited marketing director S N Prasad said Wednesday.

"We have taken an aspirational production target of 652 million tonne during the year and offtake of 680 million," company Chairman A K Jha said.

Jha said the power demand was growing exponentially and Coal India was not in position to keep pace with that in the monsoon months of August and September.

As production targets had been revised upwards, a rare in CIL's history, the world's largest miner continues to close down underground mines on the grounds of safety and economic viability.

This year, 53 underground mines would be closed and in the last financial year, a total 43 UG mines were shut down, Jha said on the sidelines of the company's 44th AGM here.

Speaking further about rationalisation of UG mines, he said the Indian School of Mines has been entrusted to prepare a report within the next six months to help the miner bring small mines to a manageable level by closure or amalgamation.

During nationalisation in the 1970s. some 700 UG mines was brought under CIL most of which were small with high manpower.

Ninety five per cent of its total coal production is from the 177 open cast mines, out of the company's total 369 mines. Fifty to 60 per cent of total coal production of CIL is extracted from 26 crucial mega mines.

Prasad said CIL was working towards higher supplies to both power and non-power sector and was committed to reduce coal import which hovers around 200 million tonne per annum.

Coal India finance director C K Dey said profitability of the company was impacted due to employees benefits burden which was Rs 12,200 crore.

He said dues had reduced to Rs 8500 crore as on August 2018 from Rs 12,500 crore in April 2017.

Prasad said dues from NTPC was Rs 1770 crore followed by SAIL Rs 900 crore, Rs 700 crore and Rs 600 rore from Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh gencos.

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