The Modi government is preparing to launch commercial coal mining in India for the first time in over four decades. For the mines to be auctioned, pricing will be left to the companies, Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar tells Debapriya Mondal in an exclusive interview. Edited excerpts..
The coal sector is very interesting. It will continue to be the backbone of the Indian energy sector. Since I came from the background of environment and climate change, I knew that we have to do something new in terms of diversifying the coal sector into non-power use. Even if it is for power, we have to use it in a more efficient way or an environment-friendly way. So, broadly that is the direction I am trying to steer the sector towards so that we are more environment friendly, have less emission intensity, and so that we substitute the import of oil and gas as much as possible by using coal. We also want to increase the production to meet the demand for thermal power. Non-power use means, for example, coal to polychemicals. Certain chemicals are currently being produced based on gas and gas has to be imported. So, those chemicals can be made from coal because if hydrocarbon is the base, coal is also a source. That is a possibility, but that has not been explored fully. I think the value addition is also quite high compared to thermal power. Or surface gasification of coal or production of urea because even urea is imported. So, all that is just a load on the exchequer and we end up paying foreign exchange. Read More…
Credit By : Energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com
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