NEW DELHI :
In what will help supply fuel to coal fueled power projects, a key railway link for moving coal from Chattisgarh mines has become operational, according to state owned Coal India Ltd (CIL).
“A 44-km long new railway line in Chhattisgarh under East Rail Corridor from Kharsia to Korichapar turned operational on 12th October which enables evacuation of coal from Mand-Raigarh and Korba coalfields of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), the largest coal producing subsidiary of Coal India Limited," CIL, the world’s largest coal miner said in a statement.
The critical rail link is part of the government’s plan of improving India’s coal connectivity and will help add incremental freight traffic to the railways. Coal accounts for around 65% of the freight moved by the national carrier. Of India’s installed capacity of 360,456.37 MW, 54% or 195,809.50 MW is coal-fueled.
“All the three important rail lines that CIL has been persistently pursuing have now materialized, that is, Jharsuguda-Sardega under MCL in Odisha, Tori-Shivpur under CCL in Jharkhad and Kharsia-Korichapar under SECL in Chattisgarh," the statement added.
These rail links will help evaluate coal from; North Karanpura in Jharkhand, lb-valley in Odisha and Mand-Raigarh in Chhattisgarh. India’s coal requirement is expected to go up to 1123 million tonnes (mt) by 2023 from the present levels of around 700 mt. The earlier plan was to mine 1.5 billion tonnes of coal by 2020. Of this, one billion tonnes was to come from state run Coal India Ltd and 500 million tonnes from non-Coal India sources in line with the government’s push to raise natural resources production and kickstart economic growth.
“SECL is expected to play a lead role in Coal India’s 1 Billion Tonne coal production aspiration by 2025-26 with a contribution of around 26% at 262 Million Tonnes," the statement added.
With India’s demand for electricity expected to exponentially increase, coal-powered generation will remain the mainstay in its energy mix. India’s per capita power consumption, about 1149 kilowatt-hour (kWh), is among the lowest in the world. In comparison, the world’s per capita consumption is 3600 kWh. This comes in the backdrop of India’s growing requirement of energy as the National Democratic Alliance government has set a goal of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2024.
“East Rail Corridor is developed by Chattisgarh East Railway Limited (CERL), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) between SECL, Government of Chattisgarh and IRCON International Limited with a war chest of Rs. 3,055 Crores for laying down a 136 Km. rail line from Kharsia – Korichapar – Dharamjaygarh - Korba. While SECL holds a stake of 64% in this tri-partite SPV, Chattisgarh government and IRCON pitches in with 10% and 26% stakes respectively," the statement added.