Government aims to build digital infrastructure and introduce new technologies to help current and future coal mines operations. The step is focussed at cutting down on import of dry fuel.
“The objective is to implement new technologies and build digital infrastructure to support current and future ramp-up for the mines,” according to the government’s draft technology road map for the coal sector.
The roadmap also includes multi-speed backbone information technology and infrastructure system that allows rapid deployment of new technologies.
“Creation of such system would require access to new-age ecosystems (like start-ups, established vendors and research institutes among others). The technological transformation will also entail the creation of a new culture in the organisation,” it said.
To reduce dependency on imports, it is critical for Coal India Ltd (CIL) to reach the one billion tonnes target, thereby embarking on a technological transformation journey, it said.
New technologies can have a number of impacts on mining operations, including safety and productivity, environmental protection, and opportunities for women.
Safer working conditions through improved underground communication, automation, more sophisticated mineral and metal transportation, and emergency response measures are achieved by integrating technology into mining projects, the roadmap said further.
“The scope of this road map is technology enablement in coal mines for transformation across business value chain, leveraging ‘digital technology’ as an accelerator for demonstrating performance enhancement from in the coal mines and increasing productivity, safety and sustainability while…reducing environmental impact by upgrading conventional technologies to new technologies,” the plan summarised.
India has total coal reserves of 344.02 billion tonnes. Commercial primary energy consumption in India has risen to 700 per cent in the past four decades. Major factors for the increase in demand for energy are expanding economy, rising population and the improvement of quality of life.
However, due to the high demand and poor average quality, the country has to import coal of higher quality mainly to meet the requirements of its steel plants, cement plants and sponge iron plants, among others.