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Coal India to shift to mechanised transport for 14 additional projects

Monday, 29 Jun 2020
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Coal India (CIL) has identified as many as 14 additional projects for switching over to mechanised transport and loading at an estimated investment of Rs 3,400 crore.

The projects will be implemented under Phase II of its First-Mile Connectivity (FMC) initiative.

The company has already invested close to Rs 12,300 crore under Phase-I of FMC for implementing mechanised transport and loading at 35 of its coal projects across six subsidiaries, each having production capacity of four million tpa and above. Their combined project capacity is 406 million tpa.

The move will help improve efficiency in coal transport and computer-aided loading.

Four coal companies of CIL together will infuse a tentative capital of over Rs 3,400 crore in these projects that have a total annual capacity of 100.5 million tonne.

Of the 14 projects, Central Coalfileds accounts for five with a capacity of 62.5 million tpa; Mahanadi Coalfields with a solitary project has 20 million tpa; Eastern Coalfields will have seven projects and South Eastern Coalfields will have one project with capacities of 14 million tpa and four million tpa respectively. Tenders for these different projects will be floated beginning August 2020 and during the next two years.

CIL will set up coal-handling plants with silos that have rapid loading systems, which will have benefits such as crushing, sizing of coal, as well as quicker and better quality coal loading with the advantage of precise pre-weighed quantity of coal being loaded.

Since coal will be loaded directly into the wagons from silos, it eliminates manual loading through payloaders which is generally prone to overloading or under loading of wagons. The susceptibility of extraneous material being loaded through payloaders, leading to quality issues, is another concern.

Improved computer-aided loading time will bring down the wagon idling. The wagon cycle time will be reduced by a few hours, increasing wagon availability.
CIL already transports 151 million tonne of coal through the mechanised system and loads through CHP/silos for 19 projects. This will be enhanced to 557 million tpa by 2023-24 through Phase-I projects.

Of the 35 Phase-I projects, two projects, one each in South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) and Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL) with a combined capacity of 26 million tpa, have been operational since February and April 2020 respectively.

Seven projects of 91 million tpa are under construction, of which four are expected to get completed by FY21. While tenders have already been floated for eight projects having a capacity of 76 million tpa, tenders for the remaining 18 projects will be issued on fast-track mode before September-end 2020.

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