The results were from a pilot project involving only two open cast mines, which means MCT and CHP can go a long way besides CIL's 3,000 MW of renewable target, clean coal, gasification and plantation initiatives in meeting its net zero targets.
India’s net zero pledge in line with COP26 commitments have moved a step ahead with a Coal India (CIL) pilot project revealing that mechanised coal transportation (MCT) and loading through coal handling plants (CHP) can result in reducing 11,946 tonne of CO2 emission annually besides reducing emission of other pollutants.
The results were from a pilot project involving only two open cast mines, which means MCT and CHP can go a long way besides CIL’s 3,000 MW of renewable target, clean coal, gasification and plantation initiatives in meeting its net zero targets.
While MCT would entail despatches through conveyor belts, CHP would entail loading in silos. CIL’s CO2 emission level calculated at 0.65% of India’s total total CO2 emission of 2,616 million tonne as of FY 20 has already taken it closer to becoming a net zero company.
The plantation drive on 1,300 hectare this fiscal would further lessen its carbon foot print. Yet the PSU miner had engaged National Environmental Engineering Research Institute ( NEERI), ( Fe reported earlier) a unit of Council of Scientific Industrial Research ( CSIR) to evaluate potential environmental advantages of loading coal through silos in Lingaraj and Gevra opencast projects (OCP) of Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) and South Eastern Coalfields (SECL), respectively.
The findings show that Lingaraj OCP,having 16 million tonne of silo loading capacity per annum, can annually reduce 10,288 tonne of CO2 emissions dropping 54% of total emissions when mechanically handled. Particulate matter and gaseous emission can reduce 73%. The 10 MTPA silo loading capacity of Gevra can reduce 1,658 tonne of CO2 emission per annum dropping 21% of the total emission when mechanically handled. Particulate matter and gaseous emission can reduce 84%.
MCT and CHP, a part of CIL’s Rs 10,500 crore first mile connectivity (FMC), envisage mechanised handling of 566MT by 2024. The PSU miner at present was transporting 151 million tonne (MT) via this mode. It has identified 35 coal mining projects to transport an additional 415 MT.
CIL is dovetailing FMC projects with main rail lines, strengthening the rail connectivity at an investment of around Rs 2,335 crore. Besides, it is investing Rs 3,750 crore in 21 new rail sidings. “Evacuation of coal is more challenging. Silo loading compared to prevalent loading through sidings also leads to productivity gain on quality and quantity fronts,” a CIL executive said, adding reliability in coal despatches increases especially during monsoon as silo loading avoids road transport.
CIL has constructed bypass roads for trucks but mechanised loading would lead to reduced traffic density on road network ensuring better road safety by lowering accidents. Mechanised loading would also save the cost in diesel consumption on account of road transportation. The pilot projects in the two aforesaid mines showed a savings of around Rs 170 crore ( the project considered the January-February diesel prices) lessening around 85.33 litres of diesel consumption.
Hence, environmental and economic benefits for the country would be significant when FMC projects of 415 MTs become operational by 2024, the CIL executive said.