The Ministry of Coal has asked the Environment Ministry to expedite the process of green clearances to state-owned CIL washeries so that the company can provide quality coal to its customers. In a meeting last month, Coal Minister Piyush Goyal requested Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave to hasten the process of green nod to washeries, an official said.
The government had earlier said that challenge is not quantity but quality of the fossil fuel. Setting up washeries at faster rate will hasten the coal washing process and provide quality coal to CIL customers. The official further said that during the meeting, the coal ministry brought to the notice of Dave the forest area issue with regard to one to two washeries.
Coal washing is a process of separation mainly based on difference in specific gravity of coal and associated impurities like shale, sand and stones to get relatively pure marketable coal without changing its physical properties. The country has 15 washeries with a capacity of 38 million tonnes per annum.
The Coal Ministry had earlier this year informed a Parliamentary panel that it will establish 15 coal washeries, which will be made operational by September next year.
These washeries will be built in two phases on Build-own –Maintain and EPC contract on turnkey basis. Regarding new initiatives taken for quality improvement of coal, the members were informed that from January 1, 2016, it has been made mandatory to supply 100 per cent crushed coal of (-) 100 mm size to power sector consumers having fuel supply agreement (FSA) excluding pit–head power plants of Northern Coalfields (NCL) and Eastern Coalfields (ECL).