During the first two months of the current fiscal’s fourth quarter, grade slippages declined further to 23% compared to 42% during the same period last fiscal.
But certain customers are still in a notion that the PSU miner bills for a higher grade of coal than they supply.
State-run Coal India (CIL) is likely to receive Rs 660 crore this fiscal as a net quality bonus for supplying better coal than the declared grade as it already stands to receive Rs 571 crore on this account as of January this year.
The company’s third-party analysis conforming grade quality during April-February this fiscal improved to 65% against 59% compared to the same period last fiscal. The grade slippage during the third quarter was down to 34% compared to 41% the same period a year ago. During the first two months of the current fiscal’s fourth quarter, grade slippages declined further to 23% compared to 42% during the same period last fiscal.
But certain customers are still in a notion that the PSU miner bills for a higher grade of coal than they supply. CIL initially provisionally bills customers based on the declared grade of coal supplied. But such bills are later adjusted after the actual quality is tested. An authorised third-party sampling agency like the Central Institute of Mining & Fuel Research and Quality Council of India does the testing, mutually agreed by both the supplier and the receiver.
This system of sampling is in vogue since 2016 but since notions of higher billing still prevail the company is further inducting two more globally reputed agencies for its third party sampling initiatives, a company executive said adding “no consumer suffers financial loss arising out of quality variation between the declared grade and the actual tested grade.”
Grade generally varies for the inherent heterogeneous nature of Indian coal and the calorific value of coal extracted from the same seam at different points vary. The Coal Controller’s Office grades the mines annually and coal companies have nothing to do with this gradation. But there is a provision of challenging the result of the Third-Party Sampling either by consumers or the coal company and in case of a challenge, the part of coal samples are sent to the designated government referee laboratory for re-analysis.
However, CIL has been putting efforts to supply a better quality of coal for which it uses surface miners entailing blast free selective mining giving an added advantage of consistent sized coal. The company is pushing mechanical scrapping as well to remove extraneous material and using mobile crushers to supply sized coal. It is procuring online ash analysers for the mines of Northern Coalfields and Mahanadi Coalfields for real-time coal quality assessment. These measures will further help CIL in ensuring quality supplies, the company executive said.
Surface miner output logged 5.8% growth at 220 million tonnes during April- February this fiscal compared to 208 MTs extracted with these machines in the same period last fiscal. CIL expects surpassing last year’s output of 269 MTs achieved through surface miners.