In order to meet its requirement and increase the production of coking coal, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) plans to develop the Begunia coking coal seam of Raidih Mahatadih block at Raniganj in West Bengal as an underground mine.
On December 21 2012, the firm plans to hold public hearing for the development of the seam. The company plans to develop the mine while one of its three mines, Chasnala opencast mine is in the exhausting stage. Besides, planning to develop Raidih Mahatadih block, the company also started two new projects at Tasra and Sitanala in the Jharia coalfield.
Besides Chasnala, the company has two operating coal mines namely Jitpur and Ramnagar, which are producing coal for captive use in the steel plants.
Out of its total requirement of 14 million tonne, SAIL has managed to source about 3.5 million tonne of coking coal from Coal India and its own mines. The firm imports 75 percent of its coking coal requirement or 11 mn t spending about Rs 12,000 crore a year. The coking coal requirement is set to touch 21 mn t as its steel capacity is hiked to 24 mn t by 2013 to 2014 from 14 mn t now.
Requirement of SAIL’s coking coal will increase manifold from the present level of consumption in coming years with implementation of growth plan.
The envisaged project in lease hold area of SAIL may be a major source of indigenous coking coal for the coming 30 years.