With Coal Prices rising almost three times in the International Market in the past one year, India is planning to revive its 100 discontinued coal mines, which were abandoned in the recent past as it were considered economically non-viable.
The Union Coal Ministry had a consultation with all the stakeholders, mainly private players, to start these discontinued 100 coal mines on revenue sharing basis, said a senior officer of the Union Coal Ministry here on Friday.
The move would not only generate revenues for the government but would also save foreign reserves spent on coal imports, he added.
Presently the largest government owned Public Sector Unit (PSU), the Coal India ltd (CIL) is running 376 coal mines in eight states. However, in the recent past, the CIL closed over 100 mines which were not running into profits.
“But in the present scenario coal in the international market has become very costly. Reviving these discontinued mines through private players would be a profitable venture,” the officer said.
“Government has received a very encouraging response as big private players like ESSEL Mining, Adani, TATA, JSW and JSPL have shown their keen interests. We are very hopeful that collaboration with the private sector would enhance productivity, efficiency gains and India would be able to produce additional coal domestically for our energy security,” the officer said.
Domestic coal is not only economical, but it is also suitable for our thermal plant as most of India’s thermal plants were designed according to domestic coal.
“While domestic coal has more ash content, imported coal has less ash and more calorific value. As a result it could adversely impact our thermal plants which were specially designed for domestic coals. Secondly, electricity production costs more when we use imported coals,” said a senior officer of Coal India.