Coal Ministry launches first underground coal gasification pilot in Jharkhand

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Vidushi Gaur | Date 24-06-2024
The Ministry of Coal initiated a pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification.
The Ministry of Coal initiated a pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification.


New Delhi

The Ministry of Coal has initiated India's first-ever pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) at the Kasta coal block in Jamtara District, Jharkhand.

According to a press release, this initiative, under the aegis of Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), aims to revolutionise the coal industry by converting coal into valuable gases such as methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide through in-situ gasification.

These gases have extensive industrial applications, including the production of synthetic natural gas, chemical feedstocks for fuels, fertilisers, and explosives.

Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) provides a crucial benefit by unlocking coal deposits that are not economically feasible to extract using conventional mining techniques.

This pilot initiative marks a major milestone for Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries, positioning India at the forefront of adopting cutting-edge coal gasification technologies.

In December 2015, the Ministry of Coal approved a comprehensive policy framework for UCG in areas rich in coal and lignite.

Following this policy, Coal India chose the Kasta coal block to deploy UCG technology specifically adapted to India's geological and mining conditions, read the press release.

Managed by Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) in partnership with the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) in Ranchi and Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc. (EETI) from Canada, this project is set to last two years and is divided into two phases.

The initial phase, which began on June 22, 2024, involved creating a technical feasibility report through drilling boreholes and testing core samples.

The second phase will focus on pilot-scale coal gasification. This ambitious research and development project, funded by the CIL R&D Board, highlights the collaboration between Eastern Coalfields Limited and Ergo Exergy as key implementing agencies, said the release.

The successful execution of this pilot project is expected to open transformative opportunities for India's energy sector, demonstrating the sustainable and efficient use of the nation's coal resources.

The Ministry of Coal is committed to unwavering support for the successful implementation of this pioneering project and anticipates a positive impact on India's energy landscape, the release stated.

This initiative, spearheaded by Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL), signifies an advancement in coal gasification technology, enhancing energy security and fostering sustainable development.

As the pilot project progresses, it aims to establish new benchmarks in coal resource utilisation, contributing significantly to India's journey towards energy independence.

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The Ministry remains steadfast in its commitment to promoting innovation and efficiency in the coal sector, paving the way for a robust and environmentally sustainable energy future for the nation.