NCL plans expansion, to produce 100 mt in FY19 (Lead, Correcting headline)

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Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh), Dec 14 (IANS) Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd, is expecting to produce over 100 million tonnes of coal in the current fiscal, an official said here on Friday.

The miner, which is “ahead of the task” in terms of its contribution to Coal India’s projected one billion production target, has planned for expanding its mines’ capacity by around 22 mt in the next few years.

NCL is spending Rs 1,150 crore as its capital expenditure in the current fiscal mostly on acquiring land and buying equipment, the official said.

The miner had produced over 93 mt of coal last year, up by more than 10 per cent over the previous year and its off-take was at 96.7 mt in 2017-18, achieving about 16 per cent growth.

“There will be seven million tonne jump in coal production this year and we are going to touch 100 mt by the end of this fiscal,” NCL’s Chairman and Managing Director P.K. Sinha said.

Among the coal behemoth’s seven coal-producing subsidiaries, NCL will be the third entity after South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd ( MCL) to achieve 100 mt production-mark.

To achieve one billion tonne production target of Coal India, it was estimated that NCL’s contribution would be 115 mt by 2022-23, he said.

“We are currently ahead of the estimated contribution to achieve Coal India’s one-billion tonne target,” Sinha said.

“We are expanding our Jayant mine having a capacity of 15.5 mt annually to 25 mt. The existing capacity of Dudhichua mine will also be ramped up to 25 mt from 15.5 mt. By these two expansion projects, we would be having 20 mt incremental capacity in the next 4-5 years,” he said, adding that a new Semaria mine with a two mt capacity per annum is expected to open in 2-3 years.

NCL’s contribution to Coal India’s total production is around 15 per cent, he said while addressing the first “International Conference on Opencast Mining Technology and Sustainability (ICOMS-2018)” here, being organised by the miner in association with Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi and AKS University, Satna.

Nearby power plants at Singrauli consume nearly 70 per cent of the company’s production, Sinha said, adding that it has been supplying 20 per cent of its off-take to coal-starved thermal plants situated at the up-country northern and western states like Haryana, Rajasthan and others.

He urged for better evacuation infrastructure to feed thermal power plants and claimed that power plants, linked with the NCL, do not have scarcity of the fossil fuel, adding that the problem lies in the railway infrastructure.

Aimed at strengthening research and development (R&D) capabilities of the company, NCL recently signed an MoU with IIT-BHU.

The miner’s SARAS, an acronym for Science & Applied Research Alliance and Support, took its first flight on Friday in the form of ICOMS.

–IANS

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