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Coal India seeks private funds to set up washeries

Calcutta, Jan. 31: Coal India (CIL) has asked for private investment in setting up more coal washeries to reduce the ash content in power-grade coal.

CIL chairman N. K. Sharma said that the country needs more washeries to bring down the ash content in coal and in the process, the pollution level.

“The private sector has to come forward with investment. We cannot, at this moment, make any sizeable investment to set up washeries,” Sharma told newspersons on the sidelines of the Indian Energy Meet

“Coal consumers should be ready to cough up extra money to get better quality coal. Unless the power companies pay up, it is not possible for the private investors to set up such washeries,” he said. Sharma added that the annual average of ash content in Indian coal used in the power sector is around 34 per cent. There are efforts to bring down this level. But it needs huge investment, he added.

State power minister Mrinal Banerjee asked power companies, especially thermal power ones to be more careful about pollution. The current generation level of the thermal power units in the state is 9000 mw and another 6000 mw will be added in the next Five Year Plan. “ The thermal power plants need to have cleaner technologies to curb pollution,” he said.

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