Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, plans to invest Rs 60,000 crore (US$ 8.51 billion) in Odisha by 2025-26.
According to the company’s official statement, the investment will be focused in acquisition of land for three new Mine, Develop and Operate projects, namely Siarmal (50 MTY) in Ib Valley coalfields, Subhadra (25 MTY) and Balbhadra North (10 MTY) in Talcher coalfields, as well as expansion of existing projects. It targets to increase its coal production capacity to 300 million tonnes (MT) in about three years.
In order to increase the capacity building for the new and expansion of existing projects, the company plans to invest in procurement of heavy machinery, besides setting-up of 1600 megawatt (MW) (2×800) super critical thermal power plant with planned investment of Rs 11,363 crore (US$ 1.61 billion) in Sundergarh district of Odisha.
It also plans to increase coal production by investing in strengthening coal evacuation infrastructure, like doubling of 53-km-long Jharsuguda-Sardega railway line with a flyover at Jharsuguda railway station and construction of 12 Rapid Loading Systems (RLS).
The company along with state government has planned for developing social infrastructure, like roads, flyovers, parks, etc. under its Command Area in Sundergarh, Jhasuguda, Sambalpur and Angul districts of state. It plans to spend Rs 31,000 crore (US$ 4.40 billion) out of the Re 60,000 crore (US$ 8.51 billion) for mining and social infrastructure development by 2023-24.
The company is also focusing on land reclamation and environment-protection, thus, the Innovations Cell at company headquarters is undertaking various initiatives to introduce best technology and practices for dust suppression, firefighting, eco-friendly coal loading, etc.
In order to increase its green footsteps, MCL is going to set-up more solar power plants, besides biological reclamation of mined-out area and bringing it to original form by laying top-soil, adopting best agricultural and afforestation practices.
The company has also adopted a part of tribal-dominated area under its command in Sundergarh for development under Gram Samridhi Yojana, to improve the quality of life in and around MCL’s projects.
This investment in social and mining projects is expected to increase direct and indirect employment for local youth and provide opportunities for Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs).