New Delhi: The Union Power Ministry has directed the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC Ltd) to take immediate action to arrange short-term loans for a period of six months with adequate safeguards for imported coal-based plants (ICB) that are stressed or in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The ministry added that these plants require working capital to purchase coal and restart power generation. The Ministry of Power directed all imported coal-based plants to operate and generate power to full capacity on May 5, even for stressed or NCLT projects. Section 11 of the Electricity Act of 2003 was used to issue the directive.
Following a series of nationwide power outages, the issue of coal scarcity has recently taken centre stage. As a result, domestic coal demand has increased, putting pressure on domestic coal supply.
Jharia coal mine: With estimated reserves of 19.4 billion tonnes of metallurgical coal or coking coal, the Jharia coal mine in Jharkhand is India’s largest coal mine. The mine, which contributes significantly to national economic growth, feeds a large portion of the local population, which is either directly or indirectly reliant on it. It is also home to some of the world’s longest-burning fires, which began in 1916. Jharia is known for producing bituminous coal, which is the most common type of coal.
The Deaucha Panchami coal mine is also known as the Deaucha Panchami coal block. It is the largest coal mine or coal block in Asia and the second largest in the world, located in the Deucha and Panchamati areas of West Bengal’s Birbhum district. It is part of the Birbhum coalfield and has coal reserves of around 2,102 million tonnes. Localities staged a protest against the mining, which made the coal mine the front page of the news recently.
The Talcher coalfield is well-known in India for having the world’s largest deposits of power-grade coal. It has the country’s largest coal geological reserve, with up to 51.220 billion tonnes of coal. This coalfield’s coal is used to generate electricity in southern and western Indian states.
The Dhanbad coal mine is one of India’s oldest and richest coalfields. It produces the best metallurgical coal, namely coking coal. In May 1965, the coal mine experienced a major fire, which became known as the 1965 Dhanbad coal mine disaster. An explosion occurred in Dhori colliery near Dhanbad, causing the fire. 268 miners were killed in the disaster.
Assam coal, on the other hand, has a low ash content and high coking qualities due to its high sulphur content.