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“Source:- Economic Times”
Kolkata: India will require 180 million tonnes of coking coal by 2030-31 to cater to the steel industry, which is aiming to produce 300 million tonnes of steel by then. M Nagaraju, joint secretary at the coal ministry said that the coal ministry has been asked to make sure 35% of the demand for coking coal be met indigenously. He was speaking at a meeting organized by Coal India exploration arm Central Mines Planning & Design Institute (CMPDIL).

“We have considerable resource of medium coking coal estimated around 27.9 billion tonnes, 8.5% of this were not being considered for beneficiation owing to their higher ash content. This category of coal holds at least 35% ash and were not being used by the steel industry. Instead it was getting consumed by the power sector. After addition of two new grades – Washery Grade-V and Washery Grade-VI following re-classification of coking coal, this variety will now be used for the steel sector after suitable beneficiation,” he said.

CMPDI organized a one day workshop followed by round table discussion on “Coal Beneficiation: Optimization of clean coal yield at lower ash.”

At the meeting KK Mishra, director engineering and services, CMPDIL said Rs 1.9 lakh crore was spent on the imported coal and hence utilizing domestic coking coal in metallurgical sector was the need of the hour.

However, it was pointed out that the quality of coking coal reserves in the country was very poor in terms of ash and is difficult to beneficiate. Majority of coking coal produced in India is of Washery Grade-V and beyond. Due to higher ash content only small share of coking coal produced in India has been utilized in metallurgical sector; and remaining major share has been diverted to non-metallurgical sector. The situation is alarmingly critical as we are not only losing valuable coking coal reserves to non-metallurgical sectors, but also it is draining huge Indian foreign currency reserves.

The plan is to receive integrated association of washery operators and consumers with coal producers to work on optimization of available resources. Increased coordination among academia-research institutions and coal industry would facilitate realistic solutions for critical problem in bridging demand and supply gap of coking coal and thus saving of foreign exchange.