Vadodara (PTI): Union Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi has announced that the government looks to stop the substitutable import of thermal coal from 2023-24.
The government wants to bridge the substitutable shortfall by 2023-24, he told PTI on the sidelines of a two-day brainstorming session organised at Kevadia in neighbouring Bharuch district, about 90 km from Vadodara.
The government recently introduced an ordinance to amend regulations to open up coal mining to other firms outside of the steel and power sectors, Joshi stated.
"Whatever the substitutable shortfall is there, we want to achieve it by 2023-2024. We want to stop the substitutable import of the coal."
The government may conduct an auction of 100 fully explored blocks, Joshi said.
The latest move in the coal sector is expected to create an efficient energy market, thereby bringing more competition, while reducing coal imports.
The brainstorming session that started on Monday was organised to discuss out of the box solutions to overcome various bottle necks in increasing coal production and provide innovative solutions to the coal sector, Joshi said.
Highlighting key takeaways of the session, Joshi said various ways and means were discussed with key stakeholders to achieve 1 billion tonnes coal production target by Coal India by 2023-24.
The ministry of coal will coordinate with Indian Railways and shipping ministry to enable Coal India to evacuate more coal by 2030.
Stressing upon the diversification in the coal sector, Joshi said that idea has also been mooted at the session that CIL could think of coming up with the art of pithead thermal power plants to transform it into an integrated company.
He said it was also proposed that CIL could generate 5GW of solar power by 2023-24 and could diversify into coal gasification with a target of 5 million tonnes by 2030 enabling a sustainable energy mix for the country.
He also announced that the ministry of coal will introduce an award to recognize and appreciate best practices in coal production, productivity, sustainability etc by coal companies.