State-run Mahanadi Coalfields (MCL), which accounts for 22 per cent of India’s coal output, is expected to exceed its FY23 production target by as high as 10 per cent.

MCL, the highest profit making subsidiary of mining behemoth Coal India (CIL), has a production target of 176 million tonnes (mt), against which it expects to produce in the range of 183-193 mt this fiscal ending March 2023. On an average, it produces 5.5-6 lakh tonnes per day.

The miner extracts coal from 15 opencast (OCP) and 3 underground mines with reserves of 37 billion tonnes (bt) and accounts for about 44 per cent of reserves in Odisha (85 bt), which in turn controls 24 per cent of reserves in India.

The PSU miner has already surpassed 150 mt production this month. MCL, which accounts for 27 per cent of CIL’s production and despatch, has initiated measures to enhance production and despatch at a time when India’s power consumption is expected to grow 6-7 per cent year on year (y-o-y) in FY24 aided by rising industrial activity.

Sources said MCL’s production target for FY24, beginning April 2023, could be in the range of 200 mt .

Higher production

“I feel proud to share that we are growing at a growth rate of around 17 per cent, 10 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively in coal production, despatch and overburden (OB) removal. In FY23, we will set new records in every field of productivity. In fact, we have registered an addition of 21 mt in production, 14 mt in dispatch and 26 million cubic meters in OB removal over our target as on date,” MCL CMD OP Singh told businessline.

Close co-ordinated operations by MCL teams in coalfields as well as headquarters, under the constant monitoring and guidance from the Coal Ministry and the conducive atmosphere provided by Odisha state administration have played a major role in the consistent growth of MCL, he noted.

“Further, advance preparations made for the challenging summer and monsoon seasons has helped the company to ensure that the mammoth target of 176 mt production and despatch now looks easy and we will surpass it,” Singh noted.

Measures to increase production

In FY23, MCL obtained the environment clearance (EC) on limit enhancement for Lakhanpur OCP from 21 mt to 22.5 mt and Kulda OCP from 19.6 mt to 21 mt, which will aid in maximizing output.

Under the Mine Developer and Operator (MDO) mode, it has started work on Siarmal project (50 mtpa capacity) in Sundergarh, while Subhadra MDO with 25 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) capacity at Angul will soon follow. When fully operational, these projects will enhance its capacity by about 40 per cent.

Furthermore, the Angul-Balram rail link project has become operational, which will facilitate bidirectional flow of 10 additional rakes in Talcher and aid in evacuation of about 40,000 tonnes of coal.