The Ministry of Coal has identified more than 160 assets for which it will seek private-sector participation

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Over 160 coal mining assets identified by the Indian Ministry of Coal for monetisation. (Credit: Анатолий Стафичук from Pixabay)

The Indian government has announced plans to monetise coal mining assets worth INR287.47bn ($3.88bn) during the next three financial years 2022-25.

In this connection, more than 160 projects have been identified by the Ministry of Coal for monetisation. The ministry will seek private-sector participation in the coal mining assets for boosting efficiency and scaling up production.

The coal assets monetisation plan is part of the country’s broader National Monetisation Pipeline Scheme. Launched by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the scheme aims to monetise the country’s brownfield infrastructure assets worth INR6,000bn ($81bn) over the next four years.

According to Niti Ayog, the public policy think tank of the Indian government, the coal mining projects are anticipated to be implemented over the coming two-three years.

Included in these are 17 projects under a mine developer and operator (MDO) model with total capacity of around 178 million tonnes per year (MTY).

Other projects include three new washeries under build, own, operate (BOO) model, a coal gasification plant under BOO model, and 35 identified first-mile connectivity projects for building coal silos/ mechanized loading.

The Indian government is also planning to include operationalisation of four discontinued or abandoned projects and commercial auction of mines as part of the monetisation plans.

Niti Ayog said that India’s total inventory of coal resources was estimated by the Geological Survey of India to be nearly 344 billion tonnes, as on 1 April 2020.

As per Coal India, the demand for coal in India was projected at 1,000MT for FY 2020, while the estimated indigenous availability stood at 811MT. Niti Ayog said that the gap of 189MT was expected to be met via imports.

Under the National Monetisation Pipeline Scheme, the Indian government will also put up nearly 761 mineral blocks on auction during the FY22-FY25 period.