Coal India banks on enhanced evacuation to make up for short supplies

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Published: October 24, 2019 2:42:40 AM

SECL is expected to play a lead role in Coal India’s 1 billion tonne coal production aspiration by 2025-26 with a contribution of around 26% at 262 MT, the CIL official said.

These are coalfields that have large coal reserves and production potential which will contribute to higher coal production of CIL in future.

Even as production in Coal India (CIL) was hit due to heavy rains in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra, the mining behemoth hopes that new railway links, which will enable more evacuation of coal, will make up for the
shortfall that is being estimated by the fiscal end.

For a two months’ lag in production, CIL’s output has been down 5.6% , but with new evacuation system coming up, there are every possibilities to make up this short fall with production already picking up from the beginning of October.

A CIL spokesperson told FE that a 44-km new railway line in Chhattisgarh under136 kilometre long East Rail Corridor from Kharsia to Korichapar has become operational this month. This will enable evacuation of coal from Mand-Raigarh and Korba coalfields of South Eastern Coalfields (SECL), the largest coal producing subsidiary of Coal India.

East Rail Corridor is developed by Chattisgarh East Railway (CERL), a special purpose vehicle ( SPV) between SECL, government of Chattisgarh and IRCON International, with a war chest of Rs 3,055 crore. The railway line links Kharsia, Korichapar, Dharamjaygarh-Korba. While SECL holds a stake of 64% in this tri-partite SPV, Chattisgarh government and IRCON have 10% and 26% stakes respectively. The synergy between all the parties of the SPV helped the line to become operational in record time, a CIL official said, adding SECL has started loading two rakes of coal per day from Bijari, Baroud and Jampalimines of Mand-Raigarph, which will increase further up to five-six rakes per day, pushing up coal supplies to power stations of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The addition of more loading points in the line will take loading to higher levels.

With Kharsia-Korichapar line opening up, Mand-Raigarh coalfields of SECL endowed with large coal resources will have an evacuation outlet for transportation of coal. The availability of transportation facility further unlocks the production potential of these coalfields for supply of coal to power houses. “As the work progresses and infrastructure is developed, we shall start loading more coal,” the CIL spokesperson said.

CIL has recently revised its production target from 660 MT to 625 MT, which means it’s production will grow at 3. 6% year-on-year but it can well surpass the new target with enhanced evacuation.

The next leg of the 30-km line between Korichapar and Dharamjaygarh is likely to come up by middle of 2020. Later, with Dharamjaygarh finally getting connected to Korba, a stretch of 62-km, CERL will see its conclusion of 136-km rail line.

All the three important rail lines that CIL has been persistently pursuing have now materialised, that is, Jharsuguda-Sardega under MCL in Odisha, Tori-Shivpur under CCL in Jharkhad and Kharsia-Korichapar under SECL in Chattisgarh. These are coalfields that have large coal reserves and production potential which will contribute to higher coal production of CIL in future.

SECL is expected to play a lead role in Coal India’s 1 billion tonne coal production aspiration by 2025-26 with a contribution of around 26% at 262 MT, the CIL official said.

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