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Coal India energises April-Jan power sector supply by 6.7%

State-owned CIL’s supply of coal to the power sector increased by 6.7 to 336 million tonnes during the first 10 months of the ongoing fiscal amid the government aiming to provide round the clock electricity.

The company, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production had dispatched 314.84 million tonnes (mt) of the dry fuel April-January previous fiscal, official data showed.

The supply by Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) in April-January increased by 25.4 per cent to Rs 39.63 mt, over 31.61 mt in the same period last fiscal.

The dispatch by CIL in January also increased to 36.84 mt over 34.63 mt in the same month of 2015, it added.

The increase in coal dispatch is due to rise in output by CIL and SCCL, improvement in the evacuation and opening up of the new mines among others, experts said.

Strong emphasis on increasing coal production has resulted in a record 9.8 per cent growth in CIL’s coal production and highest ever output of coal. This has also led to reduced imports of coal, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Tuesday.

The government is eyeing to achieve 1.5 billion tonnes of coal production by 2020. Of this, Coal India is looking at an output target of one billion tonnes. The government had set a production target of 550 million tonnes for the CIL for the current fiscal. The government is aiming to provide 24x7 power by 2019 by creating cost-effective infrastructure which will be sustainable and inclusive of clean energy solutions.

Meanwhile, concerned over high ash content in coal, state-owned Western Coalfields (WCL) is planing to set up four washeries in Maharashtra and is evaluating entering joint ventures for the same, a top company official said.

“The coal that we have currently, has ash content to the extent of 34 per cent. Therefore, we have to either blend and bring the levels down or set up washeries,” WCL Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Mishra said here. Western Coalfields is one of the eight subsidiaries of Coal India (CIL). He said WCL is planning to set up four washeries with three near Wardha Valley coalfield in Chandrapur and one near Umrer Nand Bander coalfield in Nagpur.

The company has reserves of 820 million tonnes per annum at Wardha Valley coalfields and 210 mtpa at Umrer.

“With the washeries, we hope we will be able to clean at least 10-12 per cent of existing coal,” he said. As per Mishra, the company is looking at entering into partnerships for setting up washeries. He said they are in talks with many firms including Maharashtra State Electricity Generation Company for tying up for setting up washeries.

“We can set up washeries on our own. But we are looking at a JV partner to ensure the product that comes out will be consumed by the consumer,” he added.
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