Mumbai: L&T has evolved a technology for coal classification that will use high ash content.
“The equipment is manufactured in collaboration with Shell Netherlands and is ideally suited for gassification of Indian coal, which is high in ash content,” said an official release.
The company has already delivered four such equipment to China and is in the process of delivering another three, he said. Each equipment costs $30 mn(Rs13,500 crore).
Conversion of coal into gas and subsequent processing to a clean diesel becomes economical only when crude oil prices go beyond $40-45 per barrel.
India is now looking at the possibility of conversion of coal into gas and subsequently into petrol and diesel in the face of surging oil prices considering the fact that the country had large coal reserves of 20 bn tonnes.
The government plans to de-block these reserves after reserving blocks for Coal India Ltd and its subsidiaries till 2012. Coal India is a major player in the Indian coal market and is a government undertaking.
In 2005-06, 45 coal blocks were alloted for captive consumption to the power, cement, steel sectors and to state governments. South African major Sasol has technology for gassification of coal and has already evinced interest for investing upto $1 bn in India. They have approached the government and the Investment Commission headed by Ratan Tata for identifying coal mines for their project to ensure uninterrupted supply for raw materials.