The ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) is going online for green clearances, paving way for major structural changes in its clearing mechanism.

With the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) allowing Coal India (CIL) to expand project area by as much as 50% without holding a public hearing, the miner may be able to produce an addition

kolkata : The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) has asked Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) to obtain prospecting licence for getting easy forest and environment clearances, crucial for increasing exploration activity for identifying new mineable coal reserves.

India, at present, has an estimated proven coal reserve of 118 billion tonne, expected to last 100 years, but CMPDI has to identify mineable coal reserves ahead of the two Plan periods.

Of the 92 major power projects reviewed by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for their fuel position, 54 are facing “acute coal shortage”, which is resulting in inadequate power supply/blackouts in various parts of the country, crippling of industrial output and impact on households.

Blame this not only on the stagnation in India’s coal output and a widening demand-supply gap for the fuel, but also on the Centre’s standing linkage committees (SLCs).

Kolkata/Ranchi: Coal India (CIL) is foraying into the solar power sector with a view to make use of its whopping cash reserve of above R60,000 crore in a meaningful way.

CIL chairman and managing director S Narsing Rao told FE there are business opportunities in the solar power sector and a scope to take some climate mitigation initiatives as well. “Foraying into solar power is expected to give us returns higher than the interest we are earning. It would also be a carbon mitigating project,” Rao said.

Kolkata: The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) once again seems to be putting the brakes on exploration activity for identifying new, mineable coal reserves, which are crucial to the country’s rising coal demand.

AK Debnath, chairman and managing director, Central Mine & Planning Design Institute (CMPDI), told FE that the Planning Commission has set a target of prospecting 15 lakh metres per annum by the end of the 12th Plan Period ending 2017, against the current annual average of 3 lakh metres. Accelerating such activity would require digging more bore holes — at least 15 for every sq km. But the MoEF is sticking to its benchmark of allowing digging an average 1-1.5 bore holes per sq km, which would make the target impossible.

The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons will soon offer seven coal bed methane blocks under the fifth round of bidding with the Central Mine and Planning & Design Institute (CMPDI) finalising the data dossier. The DGH had engaged CMPDI in 2011 to identify CBM blocks and prepare a list for the fifth round.

A DGH official told FE that the blocks would be offered in Singrauli, Sohagpur and Cambay basin areas, which mainly have lignite and bituminous coal. Although the official didn’t disclose the CBM reserves the mines were bearing, he said the CMPDI-prepared data indicated that it would be easier to extract methane from the blocks that would be offered under the fifth round.

The Indian Oil Corporation’s R910-crore LPG pipeline project has hit a 20-acre sticky patch in Haldia. The land is crucial since the oil major has planned a pumping station on it which would enable gas flow through a 300-km-long pipeline from Haldia to Durgapur and right up to Kalyani.

An IOC official said the entire length of the pipeline from Paradip in Orissa to Haldia and then to Kalyani in West Bengal is 710 km. There is no problem of land for the entire stretch but only 20 acres has become detrimental to the project.

Tata Steel fears that it may have to start its 3-million-tonne Kalinganagar steel plant without a captive iron ore mine, since the state has not taken any initiative as yet to allot it a mine.

Anand Sen Tata Steel’s vice-president for quality management and in-charge of Kalinga Nagar project told FE the company would need 4.8 million tonne of iron ore per annum to run its 3 mtpa plant and by this time the government should have allotted the mines.

Mumbai The Children’s Investment Fund Management (TCI) confirmed on Thursday that it had sought R1,500 crore in compensation from the board of Coal India (CIL) for allegedly under-pricing coal that