Coal India Ltd (CIL) has identified close to 15 greenfield projects to be operated through a Mine Developer cum Operator (MDO) in its mines. The move is expected to help increase its coal output and reduce import dependency for coal in the coming years.

Of the 15 greenfield projects, 12 would be at open cast mines and three at underground mines. Combined, they have a total targeted capacity of around 168 million tonnes (MT) a year, said a press statement issued by CIL.

The contract period would be for 25 years or the life of the mine whichever is less.

“CIL will engage MDOs of international repute, having state-of-the-art-technology through open global tenders, who shall excavate, extract and deliver coal to the coal companies of CIL as per the approved mining plan. The board recently has given its nod in regard to standard bid document and request for bids for the engagement of MDOs,” the release said.

The company is in the process of laying out plans to complete the formalities by 2021-22 and would look to ensure that all projects become operational and start yielding output to contribute in achieving the targeted one billion tonnes by 2023-24.

Upcoming projects of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, South Eastern Coalfields and Central Coalfields will form major segments for the MDO mode with targeted annual capacities of 65.5 mt, 52.4 mt and 45 mt, respectively. Eastern Coalfields and Northern Coalfields would have projects with annual targeted capacities of 3 MT and 2 MT, respectively.

While the Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) for two projects — Siarmal OC of MCL (40 MT per annum) and Kotre-Basantpur Pachmo of CCL (5 MT per annum) has already been floated in FY20, the NIT for five projects for a targeted capacity of 68 MT per annum, is to be floated in the ongoing fiscal. Further, the NIT for the balance eight projects will be floated in FY22.

“Engagement of reputed MDOs would have multiple advantages of technology infusion, operational efficiency in the system apart from increased production. MDOs will facilitate R&R issues, land acquisitions, green clearances and coordination with State and Central Pollution Boards. Since contracts to them are on a long-term basis allied infrastructure also would be developed,” the release said.