Coal India has initiated a process to convert all its 2500 diesel dumpers, which consume over four lakh kiloliters of diesel per annum with Liquified Natural Gas kit at a cost of around Rs 3,500 crore to reduce its carbon footprint.
The company in association with GAIL (India) Limited and BEML Limited has already taken up a pilot project for retrofitting LNG kits in its two 100 tonne dumpers operating at the subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL). It has signed an MoU with GAIL and BEML to get this pilot project executed.
Once the LNG kit is successfully retrofitted and tested, these dumpers will be able to run on dual fuel systems–both on LNG and Diesel and their operations will be significantly cheaper and cleaner with use of LNG.
“This will be a game changer. The company has over 2,500 dumpers running in its opencast coal mines. The dumper fleet consumes about 65% to 75% of total diesel consumed by the company. LNG will replace the use of diesel by about 30% to 40% and reduce the fuel cost by about 15%. The move will reduce carbon emission significantly and also save around Rs. 500 crores annually if all existing Heavy Earth Moving Machines (HEMMs) including dumpers are retrofitted with LNG kit. Getting rid of diesel pilferages and adulteration are other added advantages,” said a senior CIL executive.
The main goal of the pilot project is to monitor the replacement rate of diesel with LNG in different load and operating conditions and also to capture the details of any change in characteristics of the dumper including cycle time and engine performance parameters, the executive added.
The trial run of dumpers in a dual fuel (LNG-diesel) system will be conducted for 90 days in different load and operating conditions. A techno-economic study will be done based on the data generated during the trial run to ascertain the feasibility of the system in CIL mining conditions. Based on the outcome of the pilot project, CIL will decide for bulk use of LNG in its HEMMs, especially dumpers. The company has also planned to buy HEMMs with only LNG engines if this ongoing pilot project gets successful. This move will help CIL reduce its carbon footprint drastically and achieve sustainable goals.