Govt to prepone emergency coal output to beat supply constraints

New Delhi, May 17 | Updated: May 18 2006, 05:30am hrs
In a bid to bridge the widening gap between coal production and supplies, the coal ministry has moved a Cabinet note to prepone the coal production under the emergency coal production plan, so that the expansion of the Amlohri Opencast project of Northern Coalfield Ltd (NCL) could be undertaken on war-footage. The expansion would help increase coal production from the Amlohri project from the present 4 million tonne (mt) to 10mt per annum.

Under the emergency coal production plan, the government expects to produce additional 71.3 mt of coal with a total investment of about Rs 5,300 crore. It is targeted that the plan would yield 18 mt coal annually in the first year, reaching up to 71.3 mt in the eighth year. However, it is now being planned to prepone the production to increase coal yields at the earliest.

As per the note, production from the Amlohri Opencast project of NCL will be increased to 10 mt annually to meet entire coal requirements of the phase-II of NTPCs Rihand Super Thermal Power Station, which will produce 1000 mw of power.

The coal ministry note is expected to be taken up by the Cabinet Commitee on Economic Affairs soon. Once approved, CIL will pump in an estimated investment of Rs 1352.04 crore to increase the production from Amlohri mines.

The proposal for enhanced coal production from the two mines is part of 16 projects identified by the coal ministry under the emergency coal production plan to meet the anticipated 83 mt shortfall in coal production vis-a vis the demand now projected till the end of 11th plan period in 2012.

While CIL arms would be largely responsible for increasing production from their exiting mines, extensive outsourcing will also be undertaken by the PSU, a move that has been opposed by a Parliamentary Commitee which had suggested immediate stop to all outsourcing deals of CIL.

Interestingly, the cabinet note has also favoured outsourcing additional overburden removal from NCL mines for a period of three to prepone coal production and floating tenders for procurement of equipment for departmental operations.

The note has said that increased production from NCL mines would create jobs for another 806 persons.