The 406 million tonnes of coal that will be mechanically handled per year through 35 projects in the first phase, entailing investments of Rs 12,500 crore, will replace road transportation.
Coal handling plants (CHPs) and silos would be commissioned for rapid loading system to be in place.
PSU miner Coal India (CIL) is embarking on mechanised transportation of coal from pitheads to despatch points through rapid loading system across six subsidiaries, wherein coal would be moved through piped conveyor belts, enabling cleaner handling.
The 406 million tonnes of coal that will be mechanically handled per year through 35 projects in the first phase, entailing investments of Rs 12,500 crore, will replace road transportation. Coal handling plants (CHPs) and silos would be commissioned for rapid loading system to be in place.
A CIL spokesperson said two projects, one at Lingaraj under Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) and the other at Kusmunda under South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) has already come up with capacities of 16 million tonnes and 10 mts respectively per year. Eight projects with a capacity of 101 mts are under construction. The rest 25 projects, tenders of which have been issued, are expected to come up by 2024. The entire expenditure would be met out of CIL’s capex.
The company is undertaking a study through the National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI), Kolkata, for assessing and quantifying benefits of environmental aspects of these projects. CHPs and Silos will have benefits like crushing and sizing of coal and speedy computerized loading. With reduced manual intervention, precise pre-weighed quantity and better quality of coal can be loaded.
While improved loading time will bring down the requirement of wagons increasing their availability for other sectors, easing the load on road networks induces savings on diesel positively impacting environmental considerations. “It will be an all-round win-win situation for the company, railways, consumers and villagers in the proximity of the mines,” the CIL spokesperson said.
CIL spending around Rs 3,400 crore on coal transportation annually, would substantially bring down the cost with the mechanised coal transportation introduced. It expects more than 12% internal rate of return after switching over to the mechanized mode.
Of the 35 projects, SECL will handle 136 mts a year, MCL 126 mts a year and NCL (Northern Coalfields) 63 mts a year with each of the said subsidiaries accounting for 9 projects each. Central Coalfields (CCL) with 4 projects will handle 46 mts a year. Eastern Coalfields (ECL) with 3 projects will handle 27 mts a year and Western Coalfields (WCL) with a solitary project will handle 8 mts a year.