Coal India Ltd (CIL), a significant player in the public sector, has committed Rs 24,750 crore to 61 first-mile connectivity (FMC) projects for the environmentally friendly transportation of coal. The three-phased investment project, when completed, will have a combined capacity of 763.5 million tons per annum (MTPA), the company said. FMC projects involve the transportation of coal in mechanized piped conveyors from production points to coal handling plants/silos with a rapid loading system where coal is loaded directly into rail wagons.
According to the company, 35 FMC projects under the first phase having 414.5 MTPA capacity account for Rs. 10,750 crores. Eight projects of 112 MTPA capacity are already operational. CIL is gearing up to commission 17 more projects of 178 MTPA by FY 2024 end. The rest 10, comprising 124.5 MTPA capacity, are expected to be operative by FY 2025, the company said. The second and third phase projects account for nine and 17, respectively. While their respective evacuation capacities are 57 MTPA and 292 MTPA, the investments sequentially would be about Rs 2,500 crore and Rs11,500 crore.
Under the second phase, five projects of 21.5 MTPA capacity under construction are expected to be commissioned by FY 2025. The remaining projects are in different stages of progress with tenders issued and bid documents under preparation. For the third phase, tenders have been floated for three projects of 65 MTPA capacity. Nine projects are to be executed through mine developers and operators. The third phase projects are anticipated to be commissioned by FY 2029. Total eco-friendly coal evacuation would go up to 914.5 MTPA when all 61 projects become operational by FY 2029, including the earlier capacity of 151 MTPA. FMC projects offer benefits like suppression of dust pollution and carbon emissions and reduction of the load on road transportation leading to safety. Other benefits include precise quantity and quality coal is loaded for consumers with minimal manual intervention.