Coal India picks Accenture to advise on leveraging technology to increase production
Coal India Limited (CIL) has picked up consulting giant Accenture to advise it on how to leverage technology to increase production from seven of its large open cast mines of its two subsidiaries — South Eastern Coalfields Limited and Northern Coalfields Limited.
Accenture has said it is possible to increase production from the seven mines by 100 million tonnes in 2022-2023 vis-a-vis 2021-22.
Coal India officials said the seven high yielding mines accounted for nearly 32 per cent, or 188mt of the miner’s total output of 596mt during 2020-21. While the three mines of SECL contributed around 112mt, the four of Northern Coalfields produced 76mt.
The seven identified mines are Kusmunda, Gevra, Dipka of South Eastern Coalfields Ltd and Nigahi, Jayant, Dudhichua, Khadia of Northern Coalfields Ltd .
Accenture will use data analytics in its work and will advise Coal India at all stages of production from planning to operations till despatch and monitoring.
As an initial recommendation, it has suggested the heavy earth moving machines be fitted with digital sensors to monitor their efficiency .
The move helps in addressing the road blocks and taking corrective measures. The objective is to extract higher volumes of coal at lower costs.
“This is a first of its kind initiative by the company utilising digitalisation to ramp up coal output. It will be enabled in seven select mines for transformation across the entire business value chain of mining operations,” said a senior official of Coal India.
Accenture will be paid its success fees only if the production from the seven mines crosses a threshold. Subsequently, it will be paid an agreed sum for every additional tonne of coal produced in the mines.
“Learning from the outcome and success of this model we may replicate it in our other large mines,” said the official.
Industry observers said extracting an additional 100mt from the running mines was a substantial volume amid challenges of land acquisition and environment concerns delaying greenfield and brownfield expansions.
This incremental amount could play a role in import substitution. India imported 215.92mt of coal in 2020-21, including 136.77mt of non-coking coal.