Union govt intends to take up coal, lignite gasification projects on high priority: Coal secretary

Source : PTI | Emphasising the importance of coal and lignite gasification projects in India’s energy transition, Union Coal Secretary Amrit Lal Meena on Friday said the union government intends to take up these projects on very high priority.

Meena addressed an industry interaction meeting organised by the Ministry of Coal here, on ways to promote coal, and lignite gasification projects across the country. The Centre has recently approved schemes for the promotion of coal and lignite gasification under which the private sector and public sector undertakings have been envisaged to take up new projects for setting up coal and lignite gasification projects, he told reporters. In January, the government approved an outlay of INR 8,500 crore as financial assistance for promoting coal, lignite gasification projects. He said the government expects the private sector to consider venturing into setting up of coal gasification projects.

“The Ministry will be coming out with a draft request for proposal (RFP) and share it with industry and, after seeking their views, come out with the final RFP,” he said, adding that thereafter applications will be invited. “We intend to take up these projects on very high priority,” Meena said.

The coal secretary explained the importance of coal in India’s energy security, and the efforts the government has made to bring in private players, which has led to an increase in domestic coal production, and a substantial decrease in coal imports, from 26 per cent in 2019 to 19 per cent (expected) this year, an official release said.

Reiterating the government’s support through initiatives such as making land more easily available, financing, and providing incentives to promote cleaner coal technologies and enhance energy security, he called on everyone present to invest in the technology towards a greener and cleaner future.

Attended by industry experts, and stakeholders, the event showcased the government’s commitment to fostering innovation and sustainability in the coal sector. Through strategic initiatives and policy frameworks, the Ministry of Coal aims to catalyse investments and technological advancements in coal/gasification projects, aligning with India’s vision for a cleaner and energy efficient future, it said. The stakeholders submitted their views on the scheme, which was acknowledged.

The Ministry of Coal will put RFP for the scheme in the public forum for stakeholders’ comments/feedback shortly, it added. The coal secretary requested all industry stakeholders to come forward and participate in the RFP process and share their valuable inputs, to make the process transparent and open. Coal India Limited Chairman P M Prasad elaborated on CIL’s proactive initiatives and endeavours in the realm of gasification, the release said.

He highlighted CIL’s commitment to innovation and sustainability, underscoring the company’s role as a key player in driving the transition towards cleaner energy solutions. He further explained the opportunities in coal gasification and called on interested players having the technological capacity to partner with CIL towards building a cleaner future and help achieve the net zero target by 2070.