Govt con­sid­er­ing to Give coal blocks to pri­vate play­ers for com­mer­cial min­ing

Resource Digest - - RESOURCE DIGEST -

Coal sec­re­tary Anil Swarup said the gov­ern­ment was con­sid­er­ing giv­ing mines to pri­vate play­ers for com­mer­cial min­ing but the de­mand sit­u­a­tion was hold­ing it back from tak­ing a fi­nal call. “The min­is­ter is ea­ger to give blocks to pri­vate play­ers for com­mer­cial min­ing but we can­not do it un­less we are as­sured that ev­ery­one is get­ting coal.” Swarup said adding that the state gov­ern­ments have al­ready been al­lo­cated blocks for com­mer­cial min­ing.

He said there has been a par­a­digm shift in the prob­lem – from a phase of sup­ply shortage to a phase of de­mand shortage and this de­mand shortage was due to low gen­er­a­tion of the gen­er­a­tion com­pa­nies at PLF not more than 59-60 per cent. The gen­er­a­tion com­pa­nies were gen­er­at­ing low be­cause of low de­mand from dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies. How­ever, the Uday scheme, that has been floated to re­struc­ture the dis­tri­bu­tion com­pa­nies, could be the only saviour to this sit­u­a­tion, Swarup said.

He made clear that CIL has started cut­ting down on its pro­duc­tion, although it was still stick­ing to its tar­get of pro­duc­ing 1 bil­ion tonne by 2022. “We may not ex­tract more than our re­quire­ment but we should get pre­pared to pro­duce as much as our tar­get and lift when re­quired,” Swarup said.

In fact with 56 mt of record in­ven­tory last fis­cal the sit­u­a­tion of over sup­ply arose and in the present pro­duc­tion sit­u­a­tion the coun­try might again fall short of coal if PLF of power pro­duc­ing plants in­creased by 6-7%, Swarup said.

Coal In­dia has adopted the strat­egy of ready to mine on shelf, which mean the seams would be pre­pared for ex­trac­tion but the coal in­stead of get­ting ex­tracted would re­main in the seam shelves.

In a de­mand shortage sit­u­a­tion the in­ven­tory bench­mark for the power plants have come down to 15 days from 22 days and such has hap­pened be­cause coal was read­ily avail­able. To im­prove upon de­mand sit­u­a­tion the PSU power plants would re­duce im­ports to the ex­tend 15 mt by the end of 2016-17 and by FY 18 end there would be zero im­ports by the state and cen­tral power PSUS, Swarup said.

The state and the cen­tral power PSUS to­gether im­ports be­tween 35-40 mt per an­num.

“For the reg­u­lated sec­tor like steel we are work­ing with them to sup­ply their coal re­quire­ment in­stead of al­low­ing them to con­tinue im­ports,” Swarup said.

He said “the fo­cus has shifted from quan­tity to qual­ity. We can’t cheat our con­sumers. The prob­lem of grade slip­page has to be ad­dressed”. He said CIL was tak­ing nec­es­sary steps to sup­ply washed coal to its con­sumers.

COAL IN­DIA HAS ADOPTED THE STRAT­EGY OF READY TO MINE ON SHELF, WHICH MEAN THE SEAMS WOULD BE PRE­PARED FOR EX­TRAC­TION BUT THE COAL IN­STEAD OF GET­TING EX­TRACTED WOULD RE­MAIN IN THE SEAM SHELVES

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