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Indian Coal Energy

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Nearly 63 percent of the India’s total energy requirements are met from coal. The available coal reserves in India are sufficient to meet our needs for at least another 100 years. India now ranks 3rd amongst the coal producing countries in the world.

Taking the above facts into consideration it is obvious that coal is one of the potential energy substitutes in India.

This section provides status and trends on Indian coal energy

Short tons of coal consumed per country per year

Country Coal consumption *
India 339,000,000
US 1,060,000,000
UK 66,100,000
France 20,890,000
Italy 22,400,000
Canada 67,000,000
China 1,310,000,000
Japan 149,500,000

* Latest available data

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(As on 1.1.2007)
(in billion tonnes)
COKING 32 17 13 2
NON-COKING 255 98 119 36
TOTAL 287 115 132 40



Major Coal Based Thermal Projects [iii]

Plant Location Capacity (MW)
Talcher ORISSA 3000
Vindhyachal MADHYA PRADESH 2760
Ramagundam ANDHRA PRADESH 2600
Singrauli UTTAR PRADESH 2000
Farakka WEST BENGAL 1600
Wanakbori TPS GUJARAT 1260
Kolaghat Thermal Power Station (U 1-6) WEST BENGAL 1260
Simhadri ANDHRA PRADESH 1000
Mejia Thermal Power Station WEST BENGAL 840
Kahalgaon BIHAR 840
Sanjay Gandhi TPH Birsinghpur (PH I & II) MADHYA PRADESH 840
Patratu T. P. S JHARKHAND 770
Chandrapura Thermal Power Station JHARKHAND 750
Renusagar Power Division (Captive Power Plant) UTTAR PRADESH 741.7
Badarpur DELHI 705
Durgapur Projects Power Station WEST BENGAL 701
Gandhinagar TPS (Unit-1-4) GUJARAT 660
Bokaro Thermal Power Station JHARKHAND 630


Complete List of Thermal Plants

Clean Coal and Advanced Technologies[iv]

Advanced technologies: status in India and abroad

Energy extraction from coal

The two fundamental processes for extraction of energy from coal are (i) Direct Solid Combustion such as conventional Pulverised Coal (PC) Combustion or the emerging Fluidised Bed Combustion (FBC) and (ii) Indirect combustion through Coal Gasification followed by coal gas combustion.

Fluidised Bed Combustor is a “three-in-one device” characterised by highly desirable features of multi-fuel capability, pollution (SO2 and Nox) control, and energy conservation. All the four members of this family, namely Atmospheric Fluidised Bed Combustor (AFBC), Circulating Fluidised Bed Combustor (CFBC), Pressurised Fluidised Bed Combustor (PFBC) and Pressurised Circulating Fluidised Bed Combustor (PCFBC) have the potential for clean power generation. Additionally, PFBC and PCFCB systems operating in a combined cycle mode (Rankine and Brayton) have the potential for overall plant efficiencies of the order of 40-45% compared to 33-37% efficiencies offered by power plants based on Conventional PC firing, AFBC and CFBC operating on a single (Rankine) cycle.

Coal gasification, at pressures up to 40 atm and suitable temperatures,results in a low calorific value (4 -7 MJ/Nm3) gas mixture of CO and H2, which can be burnt and expanded in a gas turbine for power generation. In an Integrated Gasifier Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant, this is supplemented by steam turbine power generation using steam generated from the gas turbine exhaust gases. Three types of coal gasifiers are in different stages of demonstration and commercialisation in the world: Fixed Bed (Moving Bed) Gasifier (e.g. the LURGI Dry Ash System), Fluidised Bed Gasifier (e.g. KRW system and Entrained Bed Gasifier (e.g. Shell and Texaco Systems). Each of these technologies is suited to a particular type of coal, and under specific operating conditions gives the desired quality of product coal gas.

Coal utilisation technology

Clean coal utilisation technologies

A number of technologies based on coal combustion/coal  gasification/combination of coal combustion and coal gasification aimed at environmental acceptability and high efficiency have been under development

for almost three decades. Four of these are proven commercial technologies while the rest are in different stages of development and demonstration as noted in the Table ES-1.

Other advanced technology

Supercritical Boiler Technology is commercialised in several countries with overall plant efficiencies of 43 – 45% and with DENOX and DESOX systems. There is negligible interest in India in the technology at present. Slagging combustion technology has the special feature of burning high ash coal at very high temperatures in a primary chamber where molten ash slag can be removed before allowing almost ash -free hot gases to enter a secondary chamber to generate steam. After laboratory scale studies, this technology has been abandoned because of the inadequate flowing ability of Indian molten ash.

Advanced Coal Technology Projects in India[v]

New investments in new capacities are presenting India with the opportunity to try new advanced technologies.For example, the first phase construction of a supercritical Thermal Power Plant involves building three 660MW power stations in Sipat, Chhattisgarh, and is due to be completed in early 2009.38 There are also plans for a further 20 GWe of supercritical capacity. In addition to this, there is an air blown pressurized fluidised bed gasification unit, which is based on IGCC technology that is currently being worked on in Tiruchinapalli. Currently, the facility has had a runtime that now exceeds 4000 hours .There are plans to scale up the process with the construction of another demonstration plant in Aurva, Uttar Pradesh.


PCF w/FGD – Pulverized Coal-fired with Flue Gas Desulfurization

PFBC – Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustion

GCC – Gasification Combined Cycle

AG w/Fuel Cell – Advanced Gasification with Fuel Cell


  • Limited supply (non-renewable resource)
  • Older plants (without emissions filters) generate large amounts of pollution
  • Generated smoke can cause health conditions such as emphysema
  • Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen emissions can bind to water creating acid rain
  • To dig up coal, we have to create mines which can be dangerous and not very nice to look at.
  • Transporting coal by lorry and train from the mine to the power station causes pollution.
  • Of all energy sources, burning coal releases the most greenhouse gases which may add to global warming
  • Coal is a non-renewable source and will run out in about 100 years.
  • Coal miners can be affected by black lung disease or pneumoconiosis and also emphysema if they breathe in too much of the coal dust.

Coal companies

Bharat Coking Coal Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) is a Public Sector Undertaking engaged in mining of coal and allied activities. It occupies an important place in as much as it produces bulk of the coking coal mined in the country. BCCL meets almost 50% of the total prime coking coal requirement of the integrated steel sector. It also supplies substantial quantity of coal to the pig iron sector and bulk of the coal requirement of the power station in the Northern region.

Coal India Limited Coal India contributes around 85% of coal production in India.It is the largest company in the World in terms of coal production and employs nearly 4.25 Lakh persons and is the largest corporate employer in the country. It is one of the largest Companies in the country, turnover being around Rs. 386.31 billion in 2007-08.

NCL Northern Coalfields Limited was formed in April 1986 as a subsidiary company of Coal India Limited. Its headquarter is located at Singrauli, Distt. Sidhi (M.P.).The area of Singrauli Coalfields is about 2202 Sq.Km. The coalfield can be divided into two basins, viz. Moher sub-basin (312 Sq.Km.) and Singrauli Main basin (1890 Sq.Km.). The present coal mining activities and future blocks are concentrated in Moher sub-basin. The exploration carried out by GSI/NCDC/CMPDI has proved abundant resource of power grade coal in the area. NCL produces coal through mechanised opencast mines.

Singareni Collieries Company The Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) is a Government coal mining company jointly owned by the Government of Andhra Pradesh and Government of India on a 51:49 equity basis. The Singareni coal reserves stretch across 350 Km of the Pranahita, Godavari Valley of Andhra Pradesh with a proven geological reserves aggregating to whopping 8791 million tonnes. SCCL is currently operating 13 opencast and 42 underground mines in 4 districts of Andhra Pradesh with a manpower around 78,000.

Coal energy research centres

Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR) The newly formed national laboratory, the Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR) Dhanbad, is a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and aimed to provide R&D inputs for the entire coal-energy chain from mining to consumption through integration of the core competencies of the two (CFRI & CMRI) premier Coal institution of the country.

Apex bodies

Coal India Officers' Association
10 Netaji Subhas Rd, Kolkata,
W.B-700001, India