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CIL on Rs 10,000 crore equipment shopping spree

NEW DELHI: Coal India Ltd has embarked upon an Rs 10,000-crore shopping spree for latest high-capacity mining equipment as it aims at meeting a target of producing 660 million tonne of black diamond in 2019-20, a move that will require raising annual output by 8-9% in the current fiscal.

“Coal India’s journey began with 700 mines and seven lakh workers after it was created through nationalisation of coal mines. Today, there are 369 mines and three lakh workers. We closed 2018-19 with a production of 607 million tonne. Some 70% of this production came from 40 mines, where we have modern equipment and technology. Equipment has to be upgraded in other mines for raising output quickly and efficiently,” company chairman Anil Kumar Jha told TOI.

He said the company would be spending Rs 2,000 crore a year over the next five years to acquire high-capacity earth-moving and excavating equipment. “Decision on Rs 7,500 crore worth procurement has been taken. Some of the contracts are in the process of being awarded, while tenders for others have either been floated or are being prepared,” Jha said.

The company would spend Rs 2,500-3,000 crore on new equipment in 2019-20. This is the first major equipment purchase drive in 3-4 years by the world’s largest coal miner, which meets more than 80% of the country’s requirement.

Efforts to upgrade equipment on a large-scale had remained stalled in the past due to rivalry among a limited number of manufacturer-suppliers globally prompting allegations of bias every time a contract was on anvil. But the introduction of a transparent e-procurement process with reverse auction in 2016 has changed the scenario, allowing the management to take decisions without fear of falling foul of oversight bodies. The tendering process is designed to increase the number of proven supply sources by creating a competitive supply market.

The company needs the high-capacity machines since most of its production comes from open cast mines. This equipment will help raise production quickly by faster removal of overburden (earth and rock layers covering coal seams) and heavy-duty mining.

The company is looking at buying rear dumpers of capacities ranging from 150 tonnes to 240 tonne, electric rope shovels of 20 cubic metres (CuM) and 42 CuM capacities; 15 CuM hydraulic face shovels; 10-12 CuM hydraulic shovels; 460 HP wheel dozers; 850 HP crawler dozers and very high capacity draglines. Each of these machines are being procured these in excess of 360 apiece. The procurement cost will be inclusive of equipment price, installation and commissioning charges as well as consumables for certain period beyond warranty.

News credit : Indiatimes