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Jharkhand’s coal capacity likely to surge as more private players, Adani’s Godda, Tata are setting up power plants in the state

Being the mineral-enriched state, Jharkhand is highly preferred by the coal mining companies. After leading players like Vedanta, Hindalco and Adani Group in Godda and other areas are managing their operations, Tata Steel under its Jharia division has also set up a 2 million tonne per annum (MTPA) at Jamadoba.

After several power projects in Jharkhand by both public and private players, now Tata Steel, an Indian multinational steel-making company has established a coal preparation plant at Jamadoba with the capacity of 2 million tonne per annum (MTPA). To enhance its operational excellence through automation and digitalization, a number of initiatives have been taken by its Jharia division.

“In line with its mechanisation and modernisation programme, Tata Steels Jharia division has commissioned the state-of-the-art 2 MTPA coal preparation plant and 400 kilovolt-ampere (kVA) Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) for Main Mechanical Ventilator at Jamadoba colliery,” Tata Steel said in a statement. Designed with advanced technology, the coal preparation plant is transformed from an old running washery.

Apart from Tata, Adani Godda is also setting up a Thermal Power Project of 1600 MW (2 X 800 MW) through its SPV Adani Power (Jharkhand) Limited. The plant will be equipped with a steam generator, steam turbine, boilers, electrostatic precipitators, and more advanced features. Additionally, the condensers at Adani Group’s Godda power plant unit will be made of rolled steel and feature a divided water box design. Previously, apart from Godda, Adani Group also won the rights for the Gondulpara coal mine in Jharkhand with the geological reserves of 176.33 million tonnes.

These projects by large conglomerates in Jharkhand have once again highlighted the pivotal role that the state plays to meet the energy demands of several sectors. Across the globe, it is considered as one of the richest mineral zones and boasts of 29% of India’s coal reserves. The value of the state’s mineral production (excluding fuel minerals) during 2018-19 stood at USD 356.22 million. It is also one of the major Indian states in terms of economic growth as its GSDP between 2015-16 and 2019-20 increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.30 per cent.

Recently, under the commercial coal auction during the second round of bidding, the Burakhap Small Patch coal mine in Jharkhand witnessed the highest number of bids i.e. 5 among all other mines. In this tranche of the commercial coal auction, the coal ministry is offering only small- and medium-sized coal mines towards keeping the interest of the new and small players intact.

The Coal Ministry had put 19 mines for auction in the second tranche of the auction and received technical bids from 34 companies. Adani Enterprises, Hindalco, Vedanta Ltd, Essel Mining, and several new companies such as Aurobindo Realty, Yazdani International were among the winning bidders of the mines.

As the country’s coal requirement is expected to go up to 1,123 million tonnes (mt) by 2023, power projects by Tata, Vedanta or Adani in Godda will play a major role in fulfilling the power demands. India’s power consumption has surged by around 17 per cent and returned to the pre-pandemic level as lockdown curbs have eased. Moreover, within the next three decades, the Indian government is also trying to harness coal reserves due to the global shift towards green energy.

About Mahender Bansal

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