Coal India to phase out import of HEMM, other mining equipment over next 6 yrs: Govt

Coal India Ltd (CIL) has devised a strategic plan to phase out imports of HEMM and other equipment used in coal mining over the next six years
Coal India to phase out import of HEMM, other mining equipment over next 6 yrs: Govt
Coal India to phase out import of HEMM, other mining equipment over next 6 yrs: GovtEnergy Watch

New Delhi: While stating that efforts are underway to promote indigenous production of Heavy Earth Moving Machinery (HEMM) and other equipment used in coal mining, the Ministry of Coal said that Coal India Ltd (CIL) has devised a strategic plan to phase out imports of these equipment gradually over the next six years. “Currently, Coal India Limited (CIL) imports high-capacity equipment, such as Electric Rope Shovels, Hydraulic Shovels, Dumpers, Crawler Dozers, Drills, Motor Graders, and Front-End Loaders Wheel Dozer, valued at Rs 3,500 crore, incurring additional expenses of Rs 1,000 crore in customs duty,” said the government.

“With a strong commitment to reducing India’s dependence on imports and promoting domestic production, the Ministry of Coal is taking consistent steps to foster indigenous manufacturing capabilities within the coal mining sector. These efforts are closely aligned with the core principles of Atmanirbhar Bharat, driving the ‘Make in India’ campaign,” said the Coal Ministry. In pursuit of this goal, the government formed an interdisciplinary high-level committee under the chairmanship of Coal India Director (Technical) and tasked it with providing recommendations for bolstering domestic manufacturing of Heavy Earth Moving Machinery (HEMM) and underground mining equipment, including High Wall Miners, Standard and Low-Capacity Miners, and associated ancillary equipment.

Huge requirement of equipment in coal mining industry: Committee

“It is projected that coal will remain as the predominant energy source even beyond 2030, thus, the Committee expected a huge requirement of equipment in the next 10 years in the country, both for Opencast mines and Underground mines and submitted its final report,” said the Ministry of Coal. The committee comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Heavy Industries, Ministry of Railways, SCCL, NLCIL, NTPC, WBPDCL, BEML, Caterpillar, Tata Hitachi, GAINWELL, industry associations, and various stakeholders.

Govt mulling incentive scheme, global partnerships to promote ‘Make in India’

To begin with, the committee has recommended the standardisation of equipment to boost domestic manufacturing to captive/ commercial coal mine operators, MDO/outsourcing contractors and departmental equipment, in line with CIL’s existing equipment standardisation effort. “CIL has undertaken a comprehensive standardisation of mining equipment to be deployed. The objective is to ensure the widespread use of domestically manufactured equipment in coal production, transportation, and monitoring, without compromising productivity. To further advance ‘Make in India,’ Coal India Limited (CIL) has issued standardisation guidelines. This initiative not only stimulates the manufacturing sector but also aligns with the overarching goals of Atmanirbhar Bharat and ‘Make in India,’” said the Coal Ministry.

The committee has also recommended that tender clauses should promote the use of indigenous equipment to support the ‘Make in India’ mission. Additionally, the government is also considering a scheme to incentivise manufacturers for designing, developing and making equipment in India for five years under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

Furthermore, fostering partnerships and collaborative ventures with globally recognised equipment manufacturers is a top priority, said the Coal Ministry. The utilisation of non-functional and underutilised government infrastructure facilities is also being explored under the Make in India initiative. “This initiative is a testament to India’s potential to become a manufacturing powerhouse. By promoting ‘Make in India’ in the HEMM, the Coal Ministry aims to create a robust ecosystem that supports innovation, empowers workforce and strengthens the economy,” said the statement.

Domestic manufacturers for production of mining equipment identified

Domestic manufacturers have been identified for the production of mining equipment for both Opencast (OC) and Underground (UG) mining along with upgradation of technology and capacity. Additionally, CIL has also introduced Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) Load Haul Dump (LHD) units, providing improved ventilation and cost savings. “CIL is committed to expanding these technologies, ensuring high recovery, lower costs, and enhanced safety, with potential BEV LHDs in Degree-II mines. These initiatives are revolutionising coal mining in India with innovation and sustainability at the forefront,” said the government.

“Promoting indigenous equipment capabilities will also lead to a reduction in the breakdown period of imported equipment, which often remains non-operational due to a lack of spare parts. This will be achieved by manufacturing major aggregates such as engines, transmission systems, differentials, and motors, with duty restrictions on the required parts and materials,” said the Coal Ministry.

Coal India to phase out import of HEMM, other mining equipment over next 6 yrs: Govt
All efforts on to stop coal import by 2025-26: Pralhad Joshi

“This approach aims to encourage and develop domestically manufactured equipment. Notably, high-capacity machines are already being procured from domestic manufacturers,” it added. CIL has already started procuring high-capacity HEMM and advanced Continuous Miners, capable of remote supervision, with real-time position tracking for increased efficiency and safety.

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