22 May 2018
Coal India is set to increase supplies by at least 15 million tonnes annually in the next few weeks, with three new rail projects linked to high-capacity mines almost complete, company executives said.
The additional supply will be enough to fuel almost 4,000 MW of power plants through the year, which will rise as more coal is transported, the executives said. The increased availability comes as demand for power rises with temperatures climbing in the summer.
To begin with, the first two subsidiaries will load seven additional rakes, which will be increased to 13 over the next few months. Each rake can typically carry about 3,800 tonnes of coal and an average of 1.4 million tonnes of coal annually. According to senior Coal India executives, a 20-kilometre stretch connecting Tori and Balumath in Jharkhand is complete and rakes have started moving. Another 22-kilometre stretch connecting Balumath and Shivpur is expected to be completed this month.
“There are two railway sidings and a goods shade at Balumath while there are another two sidings at Shivpur. This stretch can start carrying five rakes of coal a day soon. It can be increased to eight within a few months,” the Coal India executive said.
This near 44-kilometre stretch of railway track in Jharkhand will facilitate transportation of coal from Central Coalfields’ Magadha and Amrapali open cast mines in Jharkhand’s Latehar and Chatra districts, respectively.
This 52 kilometre stretch between Jharsuguda and Sardega is complete and is already carrying two rakes a day. It can be increased to five rakes a day within a short span, said Coal India executives. There are two railway sidings at Sardega.
This track will also facilitate in transporting coal from Mahanadi Coalfields’ Gopalpur-Manoharpur block to power stations in east and south India through lastmile connectivity via Jharsuguda station, a shorter and cost-effective route. The line can also be used to supply coal to west India via Bilaspur and to the south via Sambalpur and Titagarh.
Expansion of rail lines on the existing Gevra-Pendra Road stretch in Chhattisgarh, which is already operating at full capacity, is nearing completion. Once ready, the expanded route will allow South Eastern Coalfields to carry additional coal to its consumers.
Coal India produced 567.37 million tonnes of the fuel in the year ended March, according to provisional data on the company’s website.