In a landmark move, Coal India Limited (CIL) has initiated a process to wash and ship all coal that has above 34 per cent ash content. Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told News World India that CIL has initiated construction of 15 washeries for this purpose.
India remains by far the only heavily industrialized country in the world where coal is transported with all the rubble that comes along with it. Till now the government of India was struggling with the challenge to produce enough quantities of coal to meet the needs of the industry. But now as CIL is producing bumper quantities of coal, much more than what industries can consume, it has started to pay attention to other pressing issues.
“15 washeries will come up by September 2017. We have a target of washing and despatching 260 million tonnes (MT) of coal by then. All coal would not need to be washed as coal only above 34 per cent ash content will be washed,”said Swarup.
“It makes no point transporting dirt and mud, all coal must be washed and despatched and hence the decision to wash coal is a good one,” remarked former CIL chairman MP Narayanan. CIL produced a record 535 mt of coal last fiscal which has led to 20-25 days of coal stock at all power plants in the country. This year CIL has set a target of producing 289 mt of coal.