In order to reduce carbon footprint and its fuel cost, Coal India Ltd (CIL), has initiated the process of retrofitting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) kits in its dumpers – the big trucks engaged in the transportation of coal in mines.
The CIL is the world’s largest coal miner and consumes over 4 lakh kilolitres of diesel per annum with an expense of over Rs.3500 crores. The move would save about Rs 500 crore annually if all the heavy earth moving machines including dumpers are retrofitted with LNG kits, said a senior officer of the Coal Ministry here on Tuesday.
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) under an MoU with GAIL and BEML. Once the LNG kit is successfully retrofitted and tested, these dumpers will be able to run on dual fuel systems and their operations would be significantly cheaper and cleaner with use of LNG, the Ministry said.
CIL presently has over 2500 dumpers operating in opencast coal mines and the fleet consumes about 65 to 75 per cent of the total diesel used by CIL. LNG is likely to replace diesel use by 30 to 40 per cent and reduce fuel cost by about 15 per.
The cost economics of the project would be evaluated after completion of the pilot project and technical study on performance of the dumpers. Pilot project is likely to be completed by the year. Based on the outcome, CIL would decide about bulk use of LNG in its HEMMs, especially dumpers. CIL is planning to buy HEMMs with only LNG engines if the project becomes a success, the Ministry said. Globally, LNG hybrid operation in high capacity mining dump trucks has been implemented by US, Canada, Mexico, Russia and Ghana, the Ministry said.