New Delhi: Coal India Ltd, the country’s largest coal producer, is looking to commission by 2011-12 three out of the 18 coal washeries it will develop with private firms.
CIL will spend about Rs1,500 crore on the project, which will have a washing capacity of over 100 million tonnes.
“By the terminal year of this plan period (2011-12) we are most likely to commission three out of 18 coal washeries to be developed with private companies,” Coal India Chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya told PTI in an interview.
The company has already floated two tenders for the project through two of its subsidiaries -- Bharat Coking Coal Ltd and Eastern Coalfields Ltd.
Firms wash coal to reduce its ash content and improve the calorific value. The average ash content in Indian coal is 35-38%. Washing helps reduce it by 7-8%.
To be developed on a built-operate-maintain model, the washeries will be owned by CIL while the private companies will maintain and operate them.
Several private firms including diversified entity Monnet Ispat have evinced interest in the coal washeries.
Initially, Coal India had planned to set up 50 coal washeries in the country by the end of the XIth plan period (2007-12). Later, it came up with a revised figure of 28, which was further reduced to 18.