Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Sunday said that coal mines in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and WCL areas which are not economically viable, produce low quality coal and where mining is almost stopped can be used for coal gasification projects.
He addressed a session on ‘coal gasification’ at the Advantage Vidarbha event in Nagpur city, which was attended by coal secretary Amritlal Meena, Niti Aayog member VK Saraswat and Coal India Limited chairman ( CIL), Prime Minister Prasad, among others.
During his speech, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways asked the CIL and the Ministry of Coal whether “coal mines which are not economically viable and those containing low quality coal and whose extraction is almost paralyzed in Vidarbha areas and Western Coal Fields (WCL) “could be used for coal gasification projects.
He also advocated the use of non-viable and low-quality coal blocks in WCL areas for coal gasification.
The Union Minister supported public-private partnerships in coal gasification projects, coal extractions and coal mine power projects.
Gadkari stated that the shortage of ammonium nitrate also affects the mining industry and stressed the need to produce ammonium nitrate on a large scale.
He said nano urea introduced by the Center should be used instead of extracting urea from coal.
Gadkari reiterated the need for alternative fuels and biofuels for the future of the country.
“Not only methanol but also 300 other by-products can be produced from coal gasification, which will reduce fuel imports. This is a great opportunity to develop the methanol economy in the country,” he said.
Gadkari said coal is available in large quantities in Yavatmal, Chandrapur and Nagpur districts in the Vidarbha region, besides Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where WCL works.
“These platforms can certainly help increase employment in this region (WCL). Advantage Vidarbha is working towards this goal,” he added.
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First published: January 28, 2024 | 23:10 IS