Of the 35 projects under Phase 1, two projects, one each in SECL and MCL with a combined capacity of 26 mtpa, are already operational since February and April this year.
After zeroing in on 35 projects to create first-mile connectivity (FMC) for transporting coal, Coal India (CIL) has identified 14 additional projects under its FMC initiative, facilitating mechanised loading and transporting of more than 506 million tonne (mt) per annum. CIL at present does mechanised handling of 151 mtpa; this will witness a more than four-fold increase once all the 49 projects come into operation.
The 35 projects brought under Phase 1 has a capacity of handling 4 mtpa each and will be executed by 6 subsidiaries. The six subsidiaries together will infuse Rs 12,300 crore for all the projects. The 14 projects brought under Phase 2 will be executed by four subsidiaries and together will infuse another Rs 3,400 crore, with a total handling capacity of 100.05 mtpa.
The 49 projects under both the phases will have a total of 506.5 mtpa of handling cpapcity entailing investments of Rs 15,700 crore over the next three-four years.
The FMC initiative is the system of transportation that will replace the road mode over to seamless mechanised transportation through conveyer belts. Conveyer belts will be covered coal movement from pit heads to despatch points enabling reducing dust and pollution. It will also have the added benefit of computer-aided loading of railway wagons, a CIL official said.
The PSU miner will set up coal-handling plants (CHPs) with silos having rapid loading systems, which will crush and size coal quicker and better with the advantage of precise pre-weighed quantity of coal being loaded. CHP loading will be a big shot in the arm for CIL in furthering its quality supply of coal.
“This will be a tipping point in our coal transportation in the first mile. The multiple advantages include easing the load on road networks, saving on diesel costs, cleaner environment and stoppage of possible pilferage. Another advantage is quicker computer aided loading of wagons” a senior executive of the company said.
Of the 14 projects under Phase 2, Central Coalfields (CCL) accounts for five with 62.5 mtpa capacity. Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) has a single project of 20 mtpa capacity, Eastern Coalfields (ECL) seven projects and South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) one project with capacities of 14 mtpa and 4 mtpa, respectively.
Tenders for these different projects will be floated beginning August this year till the next two years.
Since coal will be loaded directly into the wagons from silos, it eliminates manual loading through pay loaders, which is generally prone to overloading or under loading of wagons. “Susceptibility of extraneous material being loaded through pay loaders leading to quality issues is another concern that will be eliminated,” the CIL official said, adding improved computer-aided loading time will bring down the wagon idling. Wagon cycle time will be reduced by a few hours increasing wagon availability. It is a win-win situation for the company, railways and the consumer.
CIL already transports 151 mtpa through a mechanised system and loads through CHP/silos from 19 projects. Now it would be enhanced to 557 mtpa by 2023-24 through Phase 1 projects. Phase 2 projects will start contributing once the formalities of finalisation are over.
Of the 35 projects under Phase 1, two projects, one each in SECL and MCL with a combined capacity of 26 mtpa, are already operational since February and April this year. Seven projects of 91 mtpa are under construction, of which four are expected to get completed this fiscal. While tenders have already been floated for eight projects having 76-mtpa capacity, tenders for the remaining 18 projects will be issued on a fast track mode before September 30 of the current year, the CIL executive said.