Amid green energy growth, govt still banks on coal production

NEW DELHI: The government will give 11 mines to Coal India Ltd as a review of the coal block allocations threw up the state-run miner as the fastest entity to start production, even as it chases the the billion-tonne annual production target by 2022 amid growth in green energy capacity.

“These mines will help all Coal India subsidiaries to achieve 100 million tonne per year-plus production and add 225 million tonne to the company’s annual production capacity by 2022,” coal and railway minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday.

Eleven of these mines are among the 204 blocks the allotments of which were axed by the Supreme Court. The court verdict came in the wake of the federal auditor saying the exchequer lost Rs 1.8 lakh crore because of awarding mines to commercial entities without bidding, first reported by TOI on March 22, 2012. The other five mines are new blocks carved out after exploration.

The mines are located in Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha. Coal ministry officials said operation of these mines would generate 18,000 direct employment and 90,000 indirect jobs.

Goyal said the government was staying the course for Coal India to achieve a billion tonne of annual production, in spite of the 175-GW renewable energy capacity target 175 by 2022. “Coal will remain our mainstay. As the renewable capacity grows, we will need higher base load round-the-clock for grid stability,” he said.

Eastern Coalfields Ltd will get three of these mines and four each to Bharat Coking Coal Ltd and Western Coalfields Ltd.

Goyal said the panel headed by former chief vigilance commissioner Pratysuh Sinha to review coal blocks auction mechanism is likely to submit its report in 6-8 months.

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...
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