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Validation of Coal supplies for non-regulated sectors will be implemented by April

As part of the ongoing thrust on quality, Coal India Limited will start validation of coal supplies by a 3rd party for non-regulated sectors (cement, steel and others) by April, Coal India Limited Director (Marketing) S.N. Prasad said. Participating in a seminar on ‘Coal: Emerging Perspectives and Challenges’, he said that there was ‘slackness’ on the issue of coal quality.

“While Coal Controller’s Office is assessing the grades of coal of all mines, seams and sidings, the practice of third-party validation of coal grades will be extended to the non-regulated sector by April,” he said at the meeting organised by Bharat Chamber of Commerce. In August 2016, a tripartite agreement was executed among coal companies, the regulated sector (power, fertiliser and defence) and the Central Institute for Mining and Fuel Research for third-party sampling.

The IIT (Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad) and the Quality Council of India will validate the quality for the non-regulated sectors which account for about 20% of coal consumption. The National Coal Distribution Policy, formulated in 2006, needed revision as it had become outdated, said R.P. Ritolia, Director, India Power Corporation. He also felt that supply should now be “freed up” as there was an abundance of coal.

Rana Som, Chairman of Bengal Birbhum Coalfields Ltd & former CMD National Mineral Development Corporation said that contrary to perceptions, coal would remain an important energy source. Mr. Som, whose company is now trying to implement a project involving 2.1 billion tonnes of coal reserve here, said that new technologies like underground coal gasification (against physical coal mining in deep seams) needed to be exploited to access deep-seated coal. “It involves certain risks, but there is merit in addressing the risk issues to utilise the coal while replacing physical mining. India has some 160 billion tonnes locked up in deep seams,” he said.

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