India's National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), its largest electricity generator, plans to mine 2 million tonnes of coal in the fiscal year 2017-18 (April-March) from its first coal mine Pakri Barwadih in the eastern state of Jharkhand, a company source said on December 9.
NTPC reached seam-III in the Pakri Barwadih mine earlier after removing 700,000 cubic meters of overburden or waste material, and coal production will commence shortly, the source was cited by Platts as saying, adding it can be supplied to any of the company's power plants.
This is a major step in building a reliable fuel supply chain for the company, which has stopped buying imported thermal coal for blending with domestic coal because the quality of the domestic material has improved.
Coal production from Pakri Barwadih will increase gradually to reach 4 million tonnes in the 2018-19 fiscal year, the NTPC source said.
The state-run company plans to add around 4,000 MW of coal-based power generation capacity this year, then around 2,000 MW each year for several years, the source said.
NTPC currently has around 40,000 MW of coal-based installed capacity and is in the advanced stages of awarding contracts for the appointment of an operator for two other Indian coal mines.
The government has allocated 10 mines to NTPC with an estimated total coal reserves of 7.3 billion tonnes and mining capacity of 107 million tonnes per year.
(Writing by Evie Feng Editing by Harry Huo)
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