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  • Coal continues to play a crucial role in meeting enormous energy needs; Vedanta, Adani Talabira to harness the coal sector

    Published on July 7, 2021

    Coal will remain a major contributor for power generation in India. Copious amounts of coal will be extracted from mineral-enriched states like Odisha. Mines developed by the Adani Talabira, Vedanta, Hindalco, CIL and other leading players will harness the energy producing sector and boost the economy.

    Being the basic need of various industries in India, coal is also referred as the ‘Black Diamond’. It accounted for around 74 per cent to meet the power generation needs of India in 2018. In the upcoming two decades, it will contribute at least 50 per cent to generate power.

    Recently, during the Economic Times Energy Leadership summit, the Minister for Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi mentioned about the necessity of coal in the nation’s economic progress. He also reiterated India’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

    He mentioned that coal is the means to achieve growth acceleration. “We have one of the largest coal reserves. India’s energy transition should be one prioritising growth and not sacrificing it. Phasing out coal in the next few decades will only cause knee jerk reactions,” he said.

    The coal mining and coal-fired thermal power generation sectors largely boost the economy as they contribute around 10 per cent to India’s Index of Industrial Production (IIP). India’s logistics industry, aluminium industry among several others depend on India’s domestic coal industry. With the involvement of private entities like the Adani Talabira and the Vedanta Group, economic activities in states such as Jharkhand and Odisha have significantly witnessed a drastic change. Hence, the coal sector in India is imperative not just in terms of energy source but also for the socio-economic role it plays.

    Both government and private sectors have comprehended the significance of the coal mining and related sectors. Coal-bearing states like Odisha that houses the largest deposits of power coal grade in the Talcher region are highly preferred by mining players. In other remote districts such as Talabira, Adani Group Talabira, Vedanta, CIL have started their mining operations.

    For the development of coal blocks owned by the NLC in Talabira, the Adani Group’s subsidiary bagged the tender during the reverse auction. Once developed by Adani Group, Talabira II and III coal mines are expected to generate  revenue of 12,200 crores.

     The Kuraloi (A) north coal mine, which was recently put for re-bid in the auction for commercial mining was awarded to Vedanta. This coal block in Odisha has a peak capacity of eight million tonnes per annum and is estimated to generate a revenue of 763 crores.

    Apart from Vedanta’s coal mine and Adani Group in Talabira, MCL – a subsidiary of the state-owned CIL has recently announced their plan to   invest around 31,000 crore for mining and social infrastructure development in Odisha by 2023-24. It is aimed to upsurge the coal production capacity to 300 million tonne and expand the existing projects. With support of the government, MCL has also planned to establish a 1,600 MW supercritical thermal power plant to expand roads and flyovers.

    Over the years, investments in mining and related sectors have increased manifold. Till now, the government has successfully auctioned 20 out of 38 coal mines in the first tranche of commercial mining. However, in the second tranche 67 coal mines have been offered for sale – a major step towards self-reliant India. The last day for the submission of bids has been  extended till July 8. Since the commencement of the auction regime, it is the highest number of mines that has been offered in a single tranche.  Additionally, the opening up of coal mines to private players has also shown tremendous results with increased domestic production.