Coal India Limited (CIL) has planned a capital investment of about Rs. 24,750 crore in the next few years on 61 First Mile Connectivity (FMC) projects. To come up in three phases, these projects combined will have a capacity of 763.5 million tonne per annum (MTPA) when completed.
FMC projects involve transportation of coal in mechanised piped conveyors from production point to coal handling plants/silos with rapid loading system where coal is loaded directly into rail wagons.
“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 emissions. 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 CIL official.
Thirty-five FMC projects under the first phase having 414.5 MTPA capacity account for Rs. 10,750 crore, CIL said adding that eight projects of 112 MTPA capacity are already operational. CIL 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.
The second and third phase projects account for 9 and 17 respectively. While their respective evacuation capacities are 57 MTPA and 292 MTPA, the investments sequentially, would be about Rs. 2,500 crore and Rs. 11,500 crore.
Under the second phase, 5 projects of 21.5 MTPA capacity under construction are expected to be commissioned by FY 2025. Remaining projects are in different stages of progress with tenders issued and bid document under preparation.
For the third phase, tenders have been floated for 3 projects of 65 MTPA capacity. 9 projects are to be executed through mine developers and operators. Phase three projects are anticipated to be commissioned by FY 2029.
Initially, CIL targeted coal mines having production capacity of 4 MTPA and above under first phase. After a pilot study conducted through NEERI on potential advantages of FMC projects, in two major OC projects, reflected sizable reduction in CO2 emissions, air pollutants, ambient noise levels and significant savings in diesel costs, CIL expanding the ambit included mines producing 2 MTPA and above in subsequent two phases.
Total eco-friendly coal evacuation would go up to 914.5 MTPA when all 61 projects become operational by FY 2029, including the earlier capacity of 151 MTPA.
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