CIL embarks on coal-to-methane project via surface gasification

By: |
September 29, 2020 5:45 AM

DCC is a low temperature carbonisation plant set up under the fuel policy committee to meet the growing needs of environmental friendly fuel requirements. DCC started commercial production in 1990.

The company would supply around 1.5 million tonne of coal annually for the 6.76 lakh tonne per annum C2M plant, which would take the surface gasification route.

PSU miner Coal India (CIL) has embarked on coal to methane project, although it would limit itself to a facilitator banking on an operator to build own and operate (BOO) the project. The company has identified South Eastern Coalfield’s Dankuni Coal Complex (DCC), as the project site, where the land would be allotted to an operator to execute and run the entire project envisaging a lifespan of 25 years.

DCC is a low temperature carbonisation plant set up under the fuel policy committee to meet the growing needs of environmental friendly fuel requirements. DCC started commercial production in 1990.

A CIL official said the coal to methane (C2M) project is estimated to cost Rs 6,000 crore but CIL will not have to make any investment. Instead, the operator will have to make the entire investment and will lease out the plant to cater to the methanol requirement of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha.

CIL would allot land to the operator on a 25 year lease basis and will facilitate with power and water supply. It would also supply the low ash high calorific coal of Ranigunj coalfields, having an ash content of around 24%, the basic raw material, for production of 2,050 metric tonne of methanol per day.

The company would supply around 1.5 million tonne of coal annually for the 6.76 lakh tonne per annum C2M plant, which would take the surface gasification route.

“The lease period for the land has been decided in the view of the project’s life after which the operator may move out with his plant and machinery,” a CIL official said, although he didn’t disclose the land area, that would be leased out. But CIL has been trying to strike a long term contract with IOCL and other oil companies of the eastern region so as to get an assured market for the produced methanol. Methanol can be blended with petrol up to 15%.

The company has floated a global tender to rope in an operator, which would set up the coal to methane(C2M) plant on a Build-Own-Operate model. “This is a part of implementing the government’s Methanol Economy programme, aimed at reducing the country’s oil import bill”, a senior company executive said.

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