State-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) will invest $20 billion over the next five years to increase coal production to one billion tonne.
Coal minster Piyush Goyal said, “The CIL has fixed a target to produce one billion tonne of coal by 2019 to 2020. This move would entail an investment of more than Rs 1.27 lakh crore.”
The money would be spent in technology, tools and upgradation of the facilities. “A part of it will also go towards setting up infrastructure for evacuation,” he added.
The company would open 70 to 100 mines, while the state governments would add adding 39 to boost power production. Another 70 to 80 mines would also be opened by the private sector, he added.
When asked whether India would have enough consumption capacity for one billion tonne after five years, Goyal said 28 crore Indians don’t have electricity at homes. “India needs to double electricity production to two trillion units in five years, which will mean higher demand for coal,” he said.
On coal imports, he said: “We will see a dip in imports of thermal coking coal. It will completely stop after two years. But imports of high-calorific coal will continue.”
Meanwhile, the CIL is banking on two subsidiaries, Mahanadi Coal Fields and South Eastern Coalfields, to play a vital role in targetted capacity expansion.