Coal India plans additional 15 washeries to improve coal quality

Kolkata, Sep 23 (IANS) State-owned miner Coal India on Wednesday said it will further improve the quality of coal and increase its count of washeries – both for the coking and non-coking fossil fuel varieties.

Coal India plans to set up further 15 washeries having state-of-the-art and innovative technology in coal benefication with an aggregate throughput capacity of 112.6 million tonnes (mt) each year,” company’s chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya said at the annual general meeting here.

The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute will be guiding the coal behemoth in this process.

He said off the 15 washeries, six will be for coking coal and the rest nine will be for the non-coking coal variants.

“The six coking coal washeries will have a cumulative capacity of 18.6 mt each year,” he said.

Presently, the world’s largest coal miner has 15 washeries – 12 in coking and three in non-coking coal segments. The cumulative capacity of these washeries stands at 36.8 mt every year.

The coking coal washeries can handle 23.30 mt while the non-coking washeries are able to wash 13.50 mt of coal.

“It will reduce the ash content and improve consumer satisfaction. This would also be in sync with environment friendly measures,” Bhattacharya said.

Coal Consumers’ Association of India has been expressing concerns over washed coal and the charges levied by Coal India.

“There are serious quality issues and there is wastage of money in buying Indian coal as compared to the imported ones,” its secretary general Subhasri Chaudhuri told IANS.

Besides, the association has expressed doubts over the quality of coking coal even if additional washeries are set-up.

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