Coal India and WCL to Set Up Renewable Energy Projects

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Coal-India-Limited
Coal India Limited (Image Credit: CIL)

Union Coal Secretary Amrit Lal Meena announced that Coal India and its subsidiary, Western Coalfields, have pinpointed four to five inactive mines in the Chhindwara Pench region. These sites are earmarked for the establishment of environmentally friendly projects aimed at maximizing asset utilization.

Coal India Limited (CIL) is a state-owned coal mining company in India, holding the majority share in the country’s coal production. It operates through subsidiaries, contributing to India’s energy needs. Western Coalfields Limited (WCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, is one of the prominent coal producers in India. It operates coal mines in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, playing a crucial role in supplying coal to power plants and industries in the western region.

Meena, who serves at the Western Coal Fields headquarters, informed the press that Coal India is set to embark on a pioneering initiative. The company plans to establish comprehensive solar and pump storage projects on reclaimed land, where coal extraction has reached completion. This innovative endeavor aims to repurpose de-coaled areas and harness renewable energy sources.

The initiative is focused on maximizing the efficiency of WCL assets, with specific attention to 4-5 aged mines located in the Chhindwara Pench area. In this regard, plans are underway to establish integrated solar and hydropower plants within these identified mines, aiming to make a contribution to the generation of environmentally sustainable energy. This move has been emphasized by the secretary as part of a broader effort to enhance the utilization of resources and promote the production of green energy.

He conveyed that he, in conjunction with the Chairman and Managing Director of WCL, along with other officials, conducted a visit to examine the former coal mines where mining operations have been concluded.

WCL intends to conduct extensive surveys of additional de-coaled assets within the region, with subsequent assessments carried out by experts. Following these evaluations, WCL will endeavor to maximize the utilization of those specific assets within its portfolio that have undergone the de-coaling process.

Meena conveyed information regarding the approval by the Indian government of a scheme aimed at fostering coal gasification through the provision of ‘Viability Gap Funding.’ Preceding this, the government had also announced the implementation of two to three incentives designed to encourage and support the practice of coal gasification.

Additionally, he expressed that the government is committed to providing substantial financial assistance, amounting to Rs 1000 crore or 15 percent of the project cost, whichever is deemed lower, to support private sector endeavors aiming to establish coal gasification plants.

Individuals seeking to establish modest gasification facilities through private entrepreneurial endeavors, involving a nominal capital outlay of Rs 100 crores, shall be granted a viability gap funding equivalent to 15 percent of the total project expenditure, as articulated by the speaker.

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