29, May:The Minister for Coal, Shri Santosh Bagrodia today inaugurated a Conference on ‘Clean Coal for Green Power’ here today. At the conference he announced that the Government has made it mandatory that there should be 100 per cent washing of all Indian Coal.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Bagrodia said that Indian economy is sustained at 8% necessitating energy security as well as more power for sustaining the industrial and economic growth. The Energy requirement by the end of 11th Plan is over 2 lakh MW an addition of over 78,000 MW a growth of about 40%. Thermal power, i.e. coal contributes 79% of power generated in our country. By the end of 11th Plan in order to achieve 2 million MW, the demand for coal would be around 732 MT from present level of 466 MT per annum. Presently, the annual incremental growth of production of coal is around 6-7% which needs to be increased to 10-12% to meet the immediate coal demand.
Clean coal is coal with less ash content and less impurities whereas green power describes the energy source which is environment friendly and non-polluting. There are 2 types of pollution in coal usage, pre-mining combustion and post mining combustion. During mining activity, particularly underground mining, lot of Methane gas emits, which is more than 20 times hazardous than carbon dioxide. Therefore, commercially viable technology is needed to exploit the Methane usage. Similarly, in post-mining combustion activity, the emission of power houses particularly carbon dioxide, Sulpher Di-oxide, Nitrous oxide etc. are more. Recycling of these gases for storage and further commercial usage needs to be addressed. Some of the proven clean coal technologies are Coal Bed Methane, Coal Mine Methane, Coal Liquefaction and underground Coal Gasification.
Government of India has sanctioned 26 coal blocks for production of Coal Bed Methane / Coal gasification purposes. Commercial production has started in the Raniganj Coalfields. Indian Coal has more ash content that sometimes goes beyond 40%. Ministry of Environment stipulates < 34% ash content coal for transportation beyond 1000 KM. Simple technology like coal washing reduces ash content by 10% gives the following benefits:
(i) Increase in boiler efficiency by 1%.
(ii) Saving of auxiliary energy consumption to the extent of ½ % of the total output.
(iii) Saving in maintenance cost of the coal handling and steam generation system to the extent of 20% annually.
(iv) Reduction in freight charges.
(v) Reduced consumption of support oil.
(vi) Increased availability of boiler and auxiliaries from anything between 400 hours and 1100 hours in a year.
(vii) In addition to the above, the pressure on the fly-ash disposal ponds would be reduced as the material to be disposed off would be considerably less.
Government is committed to go for more washeries in the country whose capacity as on date is 100 MT/annum and aiming at 250 MT/annum in the next 5 years time. Another important area that Government is exploring is whether underground coal gasification can be taken up on non-minable deposits where commercial coal production is not possible. In order to meet the increased demand for coal, the present open cast mining gradually needs to be shifted to underground mining beyond 300 M depth. Therefore, clean coal technology, particularly Coal Bed Methane technology needs to be effectively used for Methane extraction.
The Government has identified around 229 coal blocks of which 182 coal blocks were allotted to various private public entrepreneurs to supplement the power generation in the country by mining over 100 MT of coal annually in next five years.
The Minister appealed to all the experts gathered to concentrate on two prime issues like:
• Emissions and wastes are unavoidable in usage of coal. These Clean Coal Technologies shall minimize transfer of these wastes from on stream to another.
• High cost of production of Clean Coal Technologies needs to be addressed for commercial exploitation.
He appealed to Coal companies to come forward to take up clean coal technologies so as to reduce emissions and minimize global warming.