Millennium Post

Ground realities force Coal India to push back production target

Kolkata: Coal India Ltd, the world's biggest miner, has pushed back its ambitious 1 billion tonne production target by at least two years owing to the existing ground realities, a top official of the company has said.

"One billion tonne annual coal production target will be achieved but it is not possible by 2020 as thought initially, due to various ground realities. We are now hoping to achieve it in the next 3-4 years from now," the official told PTI.

The government had earlier set a target of 1 billion tonnes coal output by FY'2019-20.

Although Coal India has been investing towards establishing railway connectivity with its mines and procuring rakes in order to evacuate more coal, a sharp rise in renewable energy sources is compelling the miner of the dry fuel to review its earlier production goals, the company has said in its latest annual report.

Coal India subsidiary Northern Coalfields and the railways are jointly investing around Rs 6,000 crore in Madhya Pradesh to lay new tracks and converting the existing ones into double gauge enabling it an additional 15 million tonnes of the fuel capacity.

In its annual report, Coal India has also said that there was an urgent need to revisit its one billion tonne output programme following changes in the environmental paradigm and coal demand.

The company had produced 567 million tonnes )MT) coal in FY'18 and targets to produce 630 MT in the current fiscal.

However, these developments has not discouraged the miner in investing in mine expansion and procuring mining equipments.

Coal India has said it will spend Rs 12,000-13,000 crore over the next three years for procuring mining equipment.

In the current fiscal, out of Rs 9,500 crore total capex, orders worth Rs 5,000 crore would be placed for equipment.

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