Ranchi, May 19: Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd has successfully commissioned a gigantic contraption, an expensive yet cost-saving tool for use in open cast mines, about a year and half after it was shipped to a PSU in Madhya Pradesh in 44 containers.
At 2,000 tonnes, Walking Dragline, used to remove soil and rock from coal layers, is said to be among the heaviest mobile walking machines. It was built in a year and eight months at HEC plants in Ranchi, costing over Rs 1.53 crore.
To be used at Northern Coalfields (NCL) at Singrauli, the finishing touches to the installation were provided recently.
“It is a big achievement for HEC. Braving numerous constraints, our employees worked together to complete the manufacture and its ultimate commissioning at the NCL site,” said Vishvajit Sahay, joint director, department of heavy industries, New Delhi, who is the CMD of HEC.
Sahay, who reached Ranchi this morning but had to return to Delhi in evening, revealed he would be back next week.
“The Czech ambassador and his team are scheduled to visit HEC,” he told The Telegraph.
HEC sources revealed that the dragline, nicknamed Abhimanyu by NCL, “walks” at a speed of 0.24 km per hour and is capable of removing some 4.3 million cubic meters of rock and soil per year.
The contraption involves a huge investment initially, but is cost-saving in the long run as it does not require additional support of dumpers, trucks and allied manpower to remove soil and rocks that cover coal seams.
In 2010, HEC had successfully bagged orders for manufacturing three draglines, amid stiff global competition, for Northern Coalfields, a Coal India subsidiary, each for Rs 153 crore.
While one dragline has now been successfully delivered and commissioned, the second dragline is being readied for despatch. A third one is in the final stages of manufacture.
Company sources said that HEC has already supplied 12 draglines to various Coal India subsidiaries, nine to Northern Coalfields and one each to Bharat Coking Coal, Western Coalfields, and Singareni Collieries Company.