Once stuck in bureaucratic delay, Naini Coal mine in Odisha, allocated to Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) on August 13, 2015, is likely to commence production in next three months. The mine with an estimated production capacity of 10 million tonnes annually is expected to produce five million tonnes on commencing production.

The mine was allocated to SCCL for captive utilisation coal in its thermal power plant. This mine was facing abnormal delay in handing over forest land after receipt of Stage-II forest clearance in October 2022, which had delayed the operationalisation of the mine.

After taking charge, the Union Minister of Coal and Mines G Kishan Reddy had held extensive discussions with the Odisha Government to resolve the long pending issue and operationalise the mine. As a result, approval for handing over of 643 hectares of forest land has been accorded to SCCL on July 4, according to an official release.

Although the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had given forest clearances (in October 2022) to the Naini project, due to the non-preparation of a ‘Wildlife Management Plan’ by the Wildlife Institute, the Odisha government had not given full approval to the project.

Coal Production - Consumption

For the year 2024-25, five million tonnes of coal will be produced. In the next three years the production will be increased in phases. The target of 10 MTPA can be reached from 2026, SCCL officials said.

This coal will be transported to the nearby siding from where it will be supplied to TANGEDCO (Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation) and NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation). To facilitate this supply process, Singareni will apply to the Union Ministry of Coal for swapping of ‘coal linkages’, the official said. The total capacity of the mine is 340.78 million tonnes, which means that it will be possible to produce coal from here for the next 35 to 40 years.

As part of the long-term plan, 750 to 1000 acres of land is being acquired at a distance of 40-50 km from the coal mine. There is a plan to set up two thermal power plants with a capacity of 800 MW by 2030.

More power generation

Telangana power security will get more boost after coal production starts from Naini Block. Already there are 2 thermal power plants with a capacity of 600 megawatts in Manchiryala district. After the start of production of Naini black coal, another 800 MW power plant will be set up here.