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India Embarks on Groundbreaking Underground Coal Gasification Pilot Project

Jamtara: Under the strategic direction of the Ministry of Coal, Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) has launched an innovative pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) at the Kasta coal block in Jamtara District, Jharkhand. This initiative underscores the Ministry’s proactive diversification efforts within the coal sector, aiming to revolutionize the industry by converting in-situ coal into valuable gases such as methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide.

These gases can be utilized to produce synthetic natural gas, chemical feedstocks for fuels, fertilizers, explosives, and other industrial applications. The Ministry of Coal is fully committed to promoting coal gasification projects, recognizing their potential to transform coal into various high-value chemical products, thus enhancing the economic value of coal reserves that are otherwise uneconomical to mine using traditional methods.

The pilot project represents a significant milestone for Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries, positioning India as a leader in adopting advanced coal gasification technologies. The initiative is a result of a comprehensive policy framework for UCG approved by the Ministry of Coal in December 2015, tailored to Indian geo-mining conditions.

Managed by ECL in collaboration with Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) Ranchi and Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc. (EETI) from Canada, the project spans two years and comprises two phases. The first phase, which commenced on June 22, 2024, involves preparing a Technical Feasibility Report through borehole drilling and core testing. The second phase will focus on coal gasification at a pilot scale.

Funded by the CIL R&D Board, this ambitious R&D project exemplifies collaboration between Eastern Coalfields Ltd and Ergo Exergy as sub-implementing agencies. The successful execution of this pilot project is expected to create transformative opportunities for India’s energy sector, showcasing the sustainable and efficient use of the country’s coal resources.

The Ministry of Coal is providing unwavering support for the successful implementation of this pioneering initiative and looks forward to its positive impact on India’s energy landscape. This strategic initiative led by Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) represents a significant advancement in coal gasification technology, enhancing energy security and promoting sustainable development.

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