Modi government bets Rs 43,000 crore on decarbonising coal

New Delhi ( Natural Energy News): The Narendra Modi government has placed a bet of Rs 43,000 crore on new technologies to demolish India's large resources of coal as consumers of the world's second-largest coal stick far and wide on-demand from thermal activists.

In its latest initiative to make clean use of coal, state-run Behemoth Coal India and its subordinates are in the procedure of launching five projects to make methanol or methyl alcohol from coal, which is commonly used as CTL technique. Each of these projects is estimated to cost around Rs 6,000 crore.

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While CTL is the latest technology, it was bid to be launched for clean use of coal with a Rs 13,000-crore coal-gas, or coal gasification, a project in Odul's Angul district. The gas produced from coal is going to be wont to make urea at the Talcher fertilizer plant within the district. Coal India officials said 3-4 more such projects have been identified.

“CIL has already launched proposals for the initial project in West Bengal at Dankuni coal complex. Projects and Development India Limited (PDIL) is executing pre-feasibility surveys for four other projects. We hope that the reports will be ready by the end of January, ”said a top Coal Ministry official.

Methanol is an excellent energy carrier, making it ideal for carrying motor fuel up to 15%, which improves combustion and contributes to reducing the country's coil imports. Methanol also has extensive industrial applications and is the building block for a range of everyday products - from plastics to synthetic yarns to textiles.

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There will be a second coal-to-methanol plant at Sonapur near Asansol in Bengal. Others will be established in Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. Eastern coalfields will supply coal for the Asansol project, South Eastern coalfields to Chhattisgarh plant and Central coalfields to Jharkhand plant. The official said that these projects would consume around 7.5 million tonnes of coal every year.

The projects will be implemented through the BOO (Build, Own, Operate) model and the operator will rent the plant as well as the plant. CIL and its subordinates will contribute land, electric power as well as a water supply for the project.

The government think-tank Niti Aayog has emphasized on the Paris climate commitment to reduce India's carbon footprint and to develop a methanol economy as an alternative to dependence on oil imports. But for Coal India, using cleaners for coal may be imperative for survival as a thermal power plant, with the main consumers losing ground to renewable projects. The share of renewables, including large hydropower projects, in the country's installed generation capacity, has increased to 36.2% by March 2020.

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