Ash content of coal produced in India varies from 15% to 45% with majority of coal produced falls under 35% to 45% range. Average ash content of imported coal varies from 10% to 20%. Indian Coal due its drift origin contains higher percentage of Ash as compared to import coal. However, Indian coal’s Sulphur content is low.

As per Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MOEF&CC) stipulation coal based thermal power plant be supplied with, and shall use, raw or blended or beneficiated coalwith ash content not exceeding thirty-four percent, on quarterly average basis, excluding power plants located within below 500 km from pit head, provided these plants are not located in an urban area or an ecologically sensitive area or critically polluted industrial area, except pit head power plants. Coal Companies are supplying coal to their customers maintaining ash percentage below 34% on quarterly average basis as per MOEF&CC stipulation, as applicable.

In order to produce coal with international standards the following steps have been taken by coal companies:

  1. Focus on high capacity mega mines (Capacities more than 10 million tonne per annum) with high mechanization.

  2. Introduction of state of the art technology to improve its work efficiency with high capacity Heavy Earth Moving Machinery (HEMM) like 42 cum Shovel and 240 T Rear Dumpers in Gevra Expansion, Dipka & Kusmunda open cast mines.

  3. Introduction of Surface Miners in opencast mines to improve operational efficiency & to cater to environmental needs. During 2018-19 in Coal India Limited (CIL), around 50% of the opencast coal production was through Surface miners.

  4. Introduction of Information Technology (IT) enabled Operator Independent Truck Dispatch System (OITDS) in 11 nos. of mines of CIL.

  5. Introduction of Mass Production Technology in underground coal mines, 2 Mines are worked with powered support Longwall technology and 9 mines are worked with Continuous Miner technology.

  6. For rapid coal evacuation, 19 nos. Coal Handling Plants with silos and rapid loading system having existing capacity of 152.5 million tonne are in operation.

To maximize the use of indigenous coal, the following steps are being taken:

  1. Allocation/auction of captive mine/block tied with end use plants.

  2. Source rationalization with part supply from higher grade coal sources.

  3. More coal from various sources including higher grade were offered through various types of e-auction schemes particularly special forward e-auction for power consumers, not having Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) with CIL sources.

  4. Supply of additional coal to power plants to meet the shortfall within the Annual Contracted Quantity) ACQ.

  5. Implementation of Linkage auction for non-regulated sectors.

  6. Spot E-auction - For any Indian buyer (consumers & Traders) suitable for short-term planning.

  7. Exclusive E-auction - exclusively for the non-power consumers (including Captive Power Producers - suitable for medium term planning.