India's target to gasify 100 million tonnes of coal by 2030 will entail an investment of over Rs 4 lakh crore, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Monday. Coal gasification is the process of producing syngas — a mixture consisting mainly of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, natural gas and water vapour — from coal.
"Coal gasification and liquefaction is no more an aspiration, but a requirement. For encouraging use of clean sources of fuel, government has provided for a concession of 20 per cent on revenue share of coal used for gasification. This will boost production of synthetic natural gas, energy fuel, urea for fertilisers and production of other chemicals," Joshi said. Joshi was addressing a webinar on coal gasification and liquefaction organised by the coal ministry.
This 100 MT coal gasification will happen in three phases. In the first phase — from 2020-2024 — 4 million tonnes (MT) of coal will be gasified and around Rs 20,000 crore will be invested for the same. In the second phase — from 2020-2026 — 6 MT of coal will be gasified which will involve an investment of Rs 30,000 crore.
In the third phase — from 2022-2030 — 90 MT of coal will be gasified and Rs 3.6 lakh crore will be invested for the same. Reiterating the Centre's commitment for green initiatives in the sector, Joshi said coal gasification and liquefaction are on the government's agenda and various actions have been taken for development of surface coal gasification.
A steering committee has been constituted in this regard under the chairmanship of V K Saraswat, member, NITI Aayog and comprising officials from the coal ministry. Coal India also plans to set up at least three gasification plants (besides Dankuni) on build, own, operate (BOO) basis through global tendering and has signed pact with GAIL for marketing synthetic natural gas.
Joshi urged the attendees of the session to explore more about technologies and other aspects in the coal gasification sector, in line with the country's SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis. This will help harness the nation's reserves for maximum utilisation while heading on the path to sustainability as per global standards, he added.
The minister also said the response to commercial coal mining has been very good.