When it comes to the power sector in India, the majority is thermal and no wonder, the most important factor becomes the availability of coal. Coal remains the predominant indigenous energy source and fulfils 55 per cent of the primary commercial energy need in India. The energy security of the country and its prosperity are integrally linked to the efficient and effective use of its most abundant, affordable and dependent fuel, coal.
The geological reserves of coal in India are in excess of 315 billion tonne. At the current rate of production, the reserves are adequate to meet the demand in the foreseeable future. Even considering only the proved reserves and incremental growth in the coal production (from the current level), the reserves will be adequate to meet the coal demand for over a century. In terms of electricity generation, the share of coal-based capacity is still the highest (around 70 per cent). Though the proportion of non-coal sources, particularly renewables, has increased over the last few years; coal remains the dominant fuel for electricity generation in India.
Today, India is the third largest producer of coal in the world, producing about 676 Mt of coal (2017-18) which is in complete sync with our development needs. Coal India (CIL) is the single largest coal producing company in the world, with a total production of 567.36 million tonne during the fiscal 2017-18. It was accounted for 84 per cent of the total coal produced in India during that year. CIL is a Maharatna company. It is with the holding company having seven wholly-owned coal producing subsidiaries and one mine planning and consultancy subsidiary. CIL's operations are spread across nine states in India. CIL also has a wholly-owned foreign subsidiary company in Mozambique registered as Coal India Africana Limitada.
Coal Reserves and Resources of CIL
As of April 1, 2010, CIL had total coal resources of 64,786 million tonne, comprising pursuant of ISP classifications, Proved Geological Reserves of 52,546 million tonne, Indicated Geological Reserves of 10,298 million tonne and Inferred Geological Reserves of 1,942 million tonne. As of April 1, 2010, from its total coal resources of 64,786 million tonne, 30,356 million tonne had been considered for mining studies (mine planning and feasibility studies) and the remaining coal resources of 34,430 million tonne had not yet been considered for such mining studies. From the 30,356 million tonne of coal resources that had been considered for mining studies as of April 1, 2010, 21,754 million tonne has been estimated as CIL's extractable reserves.
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