Coal India subsidiary Northern Coalfields Ltd would invest Rs 1,150 crore this year which is expected to take it to the 100 million tonne (MT) production club in 2018-19, a top official said Friday.
As of now, only two Coal India subsidiaries -- South Eastern Coalfields and Mahanadi Coalfields -- are producing in excess of 100 MT per annum.
"We will be producing 100.5 MT this year, as against 93 MT achieved during 2017-18. Our capex target for the year is Rs 1,150 crore for expansion and equipment acquisition which will help us to increase our production in the future," NCL chairman cum managing director P K Sinha said on the sidelines of the International Conference on Opencast Mining Technology and Sustainability (ICOMS-2018) here.
NCL is also working on a plan to produce 115 MT by 2022-23 by when Coal India's total production is expected to touch 1 billion tonne. NCL is expanding its Jayant and Dudhichua mines while opening greenfield Semaria mine in the next 2-3 years that would add 2 MT per annum.
Sinha said that NCL, after meeting the demand for the pithead thermal plants totalling around 13,000 MW belonging to companies like NTPC, Lanco, and UP Rajya Vidyut Nigam Ltd also proposes to send about 20-25 MT dry fuel to the starved thermal power plants in north India.
The country's largest super thermal power plant at Vindhyachal of NTPC of approx 5,000 MW is fed by NCL. It supplied 26 days of coal stock against the normative requirement of 15 days.
Sinha said although coal evacuation remains an issue for the upcountry supplies, but it would get streamlined in the next 2-3 years once the doubling of railway lines between Katni and Singraulli (260kms), and Ramna and Singraulli (160kms) projects were completed.
The railways has approved these projects at an estimated cost of Rs 4,700 crore, NCL officials said.
Presently, coal mining activities of NCL are confined in the Moher sub-basin, where all operations are being carried out through 10 highly mechanised opencast mines.
At the inauguration of the first International Conference on Opencast Mining Technology and Sustainability (ICOMS-2018), BEML chairman and managing director H K Hota appreciated NCL's efforts to promote 'Make in India' initiative by rolling out the country's first 205 tonne electric dumper at Amlohri mine.
Meanwhile, NCL has been strengthening R&D capabilities and recently entered into a pact with IIT Varanasi in this regard.
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