Coal India is readying an action plan to tap coal bed methane and gasification to keep a lid on emission and cut down India’s dependence of imported petro products, a top official said. “Coal India (CIL) is making an action plan. Under the plan, the PSU will have to come out with projects on coal bed methane, gasification (underground and surface), coal to liquid and polychemical,” Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar said.
Underground coal gasification (UCG) is extraction of energy from coal and lignite resources that are otherwise deemed uneconomical through conventional mining methods. The plan of action, Kumar said, will be monitored by the coal ministry. “We want that at least the pilot should come… Let’s hope that it happens sooner than later because… a new vista will open for us,” the secretary said. He is optimistic that the move will help the country reduce its emission intensity and dependence on petroleum and gas imports.
CIL consultancy arm CMPDI recently sought applications from global firms on providing consultancy on formulating bid documents with regard to development of UCG projects. The secretary had earlier said the domestic coal gas can be used as a feedstock for producing urea and other chemicals that can help limit the country’s import bill by USD 10 billion in five years and cut carbon emission. Kumar hoped that India’s dependence on petroleum and natural gas can be reduced or done away with if the country manages to extract gas from coal.