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Coal India’s new projects in Jharkhand, Bengal to cut import bill

PTI | New Delhi |

State-owned Coal India will come up with three coal bed methane and coal mine methane projects in Jharkhand and West Bengal in 2017-18, a move that may help lower the country's import bill and cut carbon emission.

“Coal India (CIL) will come up with three CBM and CMM projects in the current fiscal,” an official in the know said, adding that the action plan for the same is at the implementation stage.

While one plant will be set up in Raniganj in West Bengal, two will be located in Jharia in Jharkhand, the official said.
The global tenders for the same will be out in the current fiscal.

“Before awarding the project for developing it, Coal India will ensure all the clearances including forest and safety are in place,” the official said.

CBM, an unconventional form of natural gas found in coal deposits or coal seams, is now considered as an alternative source of augmenting the energy resource.

CMM is a type of gas present in active, working mine sites, which is extracted from air in the coal mine, helping improve safety and preventing uncontrolled release of methane to atmosphere.

The government had earlier said the domestic coal gas can be used as feedstock for producing urea and other chemicals that can help limit the country's import bill by $10 billion in five years and reduce carbon emission.

Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar is optimistic that India's dependence on petroleum and natural gas can be brought down or done away with if the country manages to extract gas from coal.