Coal India on Tuesday said it is planning investments aggregating to Rs 14,000 crore towards the second and third phase of the first mile connectivity (FMC) projects.
These projects involve transportation of coal in mechanised piped conveyors from production point to coal handling plants/silos with a rapid loading system where coal is directly loaded onto rail wagons.
The second and third phases include 9 and 17 projects respectively. While their respective evacuation capacities are 57 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) and 292 MTPA, the investments would be about Rs 2,500 crore and Rs 11,500 crore, respectively. The projects are spread across subsidiaries of the public sector miner.
Coal India (CIL) had identified 35 projects under the first phase having 414.5 MTPA capacity and investments worth Rs 10750 crore. Of these, eight projects of 112 MTPA capacity are already operational. Coal India said it is gearing up to commission 17 more projects of 178 MTPA by FY 2024 end. The rest 10 comprising 124.5 MTPA capacity are expected to be operative by FY 2025.
In total, the three phases combined involve a cumulative capital investment of Rs 24,750 crore across 61 projects with a combined capacity of 763.5 MTPA when completed by FY 2019. CIL officials said this is an environment friendly way to transport coal and cut down on pollution and emission.
“It is essential that coal transportation is environment friendly to improve the quality of life of people living in the proximity of coalfield areas. FMC projects offer benefits like suppression of dust pollution and carbon emission. They also reduce the load on road transportation leading to safety. Other benefits include precise quantity and quality coal is loaded for consumers with minimal manual intervention,” said a senior Coal India official.
The public sector miner said that initially it had targeted coal mines having production capacity of 4 MTPA and above under the first phase. But, after a pilot study conducted through NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute) on potential advantages of FMC projects, in two major opencast projects, reflected sizable reduction in CO2 emissions, air pollutants, ambient noise levels and significant savings in diesel costs, Coal India is expanding the ambit included mines producing 2 MTPA and above in subsequent two phases.