India's state-owned miner, Coal India Limited (CIL) has a plan to add fresh production capacity of over 400 million tonnes over the next five years, coal minister Pralhad Joshi said recently. This includes 92 Mtpa from 55 greenfield projects and additional 310 Mtpa that will come from the expansion of existing 193 brownfield projects.
"The focus of the government is on accelerating domestic production of coal through allocation of more coal blocks, pursuing with state governments for assistance in land acquisition and coordinated efforts with railways for better movement of coal," Joshi said in a written reply in Parliament.
Prior to ongoing tranche of coal allocation, coal blocks were allocated to private companies for captive use purpose only and not for the sale of coal. In the current tranche of the auction process, 25% of coal production has been allowed for sale of coal for private companies, he added.
The coal ministry has launched portal-based monitoring of on-going projects to ensure their timely completion and has introduced mass production technologies including Powered Support Longwall technology and Continuous Miner technology in underground coal mines to boost production.
The minister also said with the introduction of surface miners in opencast mines, the government is aiming to improve operational efficiency and cater to environmental needs. Surface miners accounted for around 50% of Coal India's production contributed by opencast mines last financial year.
(Writing by Becky Du Editing by Tammy Yang)
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