Domestic coal production to touch 1.5 BT by 2029-30: Pralhad Joshi

The domestic coal production is expected to touch 1.5 billion tonnes (BT) by 2029-30, said Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi
Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi
Coal Minister Pralhad JoshiEnergy Watch

New Delhi: The domestic coal production is expected to touch 1.5 billion tonnes (BT) by 2029-30, said Minister for Coal Pralhad Joshi on Monday. In a written response to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha, Joshi said, “Coal India Limited has planned to enhance its coal production through expansion of mines (brownfield projects), opening of new mines (greenfield projects), mechanization and modernization of its mines, both UG (under-ground) & OC (opencast).”

Govt has initiated several steps to ramp up domestic coal production: Joshi

Stressing that the government has initiated several steps to ramp up domestic coal production in the country in order to achieve self-reliance, the minister said, “Some of the major initiatives undertaken include Single Window Clearance, amendment of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 to allow captive mines to sell up to 50 percent of their annual production after meeting the requirement of the end use plants, production through MDO mode, increasing use of mass production technologies, new projects and expansion of existing projects, and auction of coal blocks to private companies/PSUs for commercial mining. 100 percent Foreign Direct Investment has also been allowed for commercial mining,” the minister told the Upper House of Parliament.

“There are plans to enhance the production of coal to meet the growing demand… For smooth transit of coal to end-users, steps are also being taken to improve evacuation infrastructure through new rail projects and to mechanized coal loading through First Mile Connectivity (FMC) projects,” he added.

Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi
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Coal India to produce 1.12 BT coal by 2029-30

In a separate response to a question raised in the Rajya Sabha, Joshi informed the House that the government has set a coal production target of 1.12 BT for Coal India Ltd. The state-run miner which produces the lion's share of coal mined in India is expected to produce 780 MT in the currrent financial year, which is expected to increase to 850 MT in in 2024-25, 1 BT in 2025-26, 1.03 BT in 2026-27, 1.05 BT in 2027-28 and 1.09 BT in 2028-29. The government expects Singareni Collieries Company Ltd to produce 82 MT and captive and other coal mines to produce 320.04 MT by 2029-30.

Why does increasing coal production matter?

Around 80 percent of the coal produced domestically is used for generation of electricity. The demand for electricity has witnessed an unprecedented surge in recent years, with the peak power demand rising to 240 GW this year. According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the peak power demand is projected to touch 256.53 GW in 2024-25. Right now, domestic coal-based thermal power plants are using around 4.3 lakh tonnes of imported coal every day to fill the gap between the receipt and consumption of coal. The government aims to increase the production of coal to substitute imports with domestically-mined fossil fuel. India has the world’s fifth-largest coal reserves, most of which is non-coking coal which is used for power generation.

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