The Government has taken various steps including notifying the activities like coal gasification including Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) and Surface Fasificaiton of coal, coal Liquefaction, Washing of coal as one of the end uses under Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act 1974 to promote clean coal technologies like coal washing, development of Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), Surface coal gasification and Coal Liquefaction or coal to Liquids (CTL) and to facilitate allotment of blocks to the potential entrepreneurs. Further, under a separate policy for development of Coal Bed Methane (CBM)/Coal Mine Methane (CMM) has been put in place for extraction and exploitation of Methane gas from coal seams. This was informed by Shri Pratik Prakashbapu Patil, Minister of State in the Ministry of Coal while replying a written question in Lok Sabha today.
The minister said that the Government and UNDP/Global Enviornment Facility funded Coalbed Methane Demonstration & Utilization project at Moonidih mine of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. (BCCL) has been successfully implemented by CMPDI & BCCL, which has proved the efficacy of the process in the Indian geo-mining conditions. The methane gas extracted is being used to run 500 KW electricity generation. Further, Government has already allotted 33 blocks for CBM exploration and exploitation of which one block has entered into commercial production. Coal India Ltd.(CIL) has conceived five CMM projects and two UCG projects in their command area. Further, 20 new washeries have been proposed for a total raw coal throughput capacity of 111 MTY in CIL. While technology assessment for coal washing, CBM/CMM, Surface Gasification of coal has been established, technology for CTL & UCG is yet to be proved in Indian conditions.
CIL has adopted CMM project in their BCCL mines at Moonidih in Jharkhand and also has implemented a number of coal washery projects particularly in BCCL and Central Coalfields Ltd. in Jharkhand, Western Coalfields Ltd. in Maharashtra, Northern Coalfields Ltd. in Madhya Pradesh etc. In addition a number of washery projects have also been set up in the private sector in Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh etc. the Minister added.