New Delhi: The collaboration with Australia won’t stop merely with the supply of Australian gas. In order to realize the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide 24×7 affordable power for all, Union Minister of State(IC) for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal conducted a roundtable on efficient coal mining and clean coal technologies at Brisbane, Australia.
The roundtable was attended by officials of the Ministry of Coal, major coal companies of India namely, CIL, CMPDIL, NTPC etc. and big Australian companies such as Glencore, Rio Tinto, Geo Gas, Carbon Energy, E&Y, Ground Probe and Queensland Resources Council as well as government organizations such as Trade and Investment Queensland.
During the roundtable, extensive discussions were held over efficient mining practices, exploration, mining technologies for open cast as well as underground, reclamation and rehabilitation of mined out areas, mine safety, clean coal technologies and coal beneficiation etc. The Indian side made a presentation on India’s coal sector, highlighting its status and challenges, which was followed by presentations by CIL and CMPDIL covering the aforementioned areas.
Australian companies presented their capabilities in different areas and highlighted the projects they were engaged in, particularly Clean Coal Technologies (CCTs) viz Coal Bed Methane (CBM), Coal Mine Methane (CMM), Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), safety improvement, reclamation of mined out areas, etc.
Goyal highlighted the vision and efforts of the prime minister towards energy security for India. He said that, in view of the proposed enhancement of coal production in the next 5 years, India was focussing on technological development, modernization, safety improvement and skill development. In addition to coal mining, there was also a thrust on clean coal technologies, including coal washing, coal bed methane development and underground coal gasification.
After the cancellation of 204 coal blocks by the Supreme Court, India has auctioned 31 coal mines and allotted 42 to the Union and State government companies for captive use. Taking the process forward and also to augment availability of domestic coal thereby reducing dependence on imported coal, the government has finalised the methodology of allocation of coal mines for commercial mining to central and State PSUs.
Many of these blocks can explore possible uses of Australian clean coal technologies, thus helping reduce emissions while also helping reduce the cost of production and helping meet the aim of affordable power for all.