Coal India May Exceed Production Target: Coal Secretary

Coal India May Exceed Production Target: Coal Secretary

Coal India is likely to increase its production by over 60 million tonne in the current financial year on account of measures taken by the state-run firm, a senior government official said today.

"Coal India has set a target of increasing its production capacity by 60 million tonne this fiscal. But taking into consideration the steps taken by the company to increase production, it may surpass the target," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said at select media interaction here.

In 2014-15, the company's total coal production increased by 31.81 million to over 494 million tonne, recording nearly 7 per cent growth over 2013-14.

"The company has anticipated higher growth on the basis of the initiatives taken by it. CIL recently acquired 2,000 hectares and also received 41 mine clearances.

Consequent to this, its subsidiary Western Coalfields will be opening one new mine every month for the next two years.

Therefore, we hope production will increase," he said.

CIL has managed to increase capacity by almost 11.8 per cent in the first two months of the fiscal, Swarup said, adding, "looking at this run rate, production is expected to surpass the 60 million tonne target for 2015-16. Its aim is to have 1 billion tonne capacity by 2020."

The secretary said during 2009-10 to 2013-14, the cumulative increase in production was almost 31 mtpa, registering a growth of around 1 to 3 per cent. However, in 2014-15 alone, production rose close to 7 per cent.

When asked about the forthcoming coal auctions slated for August, Swarup said, "We will bring the final policy regarding this by June 30. Real auction will happen when the previous FSAs are rescinded, which is expected by June 30 next year. So, we do not have the existing FSAs from July 1, 2016, but we have auctioned mines for linkages.

"The second round of mine auctions will have an annual peak capacity of about 13 million tonne," Mr Swarup said.

The government has allotted 10 blocks for the unregulated sectors like steel, cement among others he said, adding "still coal shortage is at whopping 92 million tone from these sectors."

Since coal production is likely to be higher, the government may be able to allocate some more additional quantities for auction for coal linkages, he added.