Coal Gassification

Under the strategic guidance of the Ministry of Coal, Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) has initiated an innovative pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) at the Kasta coal block in Jamtara District, Jharkhand. This initiative highlights the Ministry’s proactive efforts to diversify within the coal sector. This pioneering project aims to revolutionise the industry by utilising in-situ coal gasification to convert coal into valuable gases such as methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. These gases can be used to produce synthetic natural gas, chemical feedstocks for fuels, fertilisers, explosives, and various other industrial applications. The Ministry of Coal is fully committed to promoting coal gasification projects, recognising their potential to transform coal into high-value chemical products.

Underground Coal Gasification presents a significant advantage by enabling access to coal resources that are not economically viable through traditional mining methods. This pilot project marks a significant milestone for Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries, positioning India as a leader in adopting advanced coal gasification technologies.

In December 2015, the Ministry of Coal approved a comprehensive policy framework for UCG in coal and lignite-bearing areas. In line with this policy, Coal India selected the Kasta coal block to implement UCG technology tailored to Indian geo-mining conditions. Managed by ECL in collaboration with CMPDI Ranchi and Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc. (EETI) from Canada, this project spans two years and comprises two phases.

The first phase, which began on 22 June 2024, involves preparing a Technical Feasibility Report through borehole drilling and core testing. The second phase will focus on coal gasification at a pilot scale. This ambitious R&D project, funded by the CIL R&D Board, exemplifies collaboration between Eastern Coalfields and Ergo Exergy as sub-implementing agencies. The successful execution of this pilot project is expected to create transformative opportunities for India’s energy sector, demonstrating the sustainable and efficient use of the country’s coal resources.

This strategic initiative led by Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) represents a significant advancement in coal gasification technology, enhancing energy security and promoting sustainable development. As the pilot project progresses, it aims to establish new standards in coal resource utilisation, contributing to India’s journey towards energy self-reliance. The Ministry remains dedicated to fostering innovation and efficiency in the coal sector, paving the way for a resilient and environmentally sustainable energy future for the nation.

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