The view of Singareni Collieries Company Head office at Kothagudem of Bhadradri Kothagudem district.
| Photo Credit: RAO GN
Recommendation for environmental clearance (EC) to two mine expansion plans of Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) by an expert committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is set to help the company push coal production towards the target of 70 million tonnes for the current fiscal.In the first seven months of 2022-23, the coal production of Singareni fell short of the target for the period by 2.53 million tonnes. Against the target of mining 36.97 million tonnes (MT) of coal till October-end, the actual production was 34.44 MT as the production activity was impacted by heavy rains during the south-west monsoon period. Strike of work by miners on a couple of days has also hit the production to some extent.The expansion of Ramagundam (RG) opencast-3 mine phase-two and RG opencast-1 mine phase-two is likely help the company add production of at least by 1.12 MT during the last four months (December-March) of the current fiscal. The expansion plans would add production capacity of 3.36 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).An expert appraisal committee of the MoEF has recommended grant of EC to the two expansion plans recently by laying down some specific conditions. The expansion of RG OC-3 at Jallaram in Kamanpur mandal of Peddapalli district would take its production capacity from the existing 8.16 MTPA to 9.52 MTPA and that of RG OC-1 at Nagepalli in Ramagiri mandal of Peddapalli district from 3.3 MTPA to 5.3 MTPA.Officials of the coal company stated that the RG OC-3 expansion would also help Singareni to extract more coal from the mine as against the capacity of mining of 50.32 MT coal allowed during the 2015-16 and 2021-22 period as per the EC given in the past, the actual production was 46.54 MT. The base EC for RG OC-3 was granted on May 11, 2015 for production of 6.3 MTPA in the mine lease area of 2,070.1 hectares. Later, EC was grant for 20% expansion on March 2, 2021 for production of 8.16 MTPA in the same mine lease area. The fresh expansion proposal is for increase in the production capacity by 40% — from 8.16 MTPA to 9.52 MTPA with the same project area.Of the extractable mineral (coal) of 223.94 MT in the project area, 146.09 MT has been extracted till March 31, 2022 and another 77.85 MT is available for extraction in nine years from 2022-23. Additional capital cost for expansion is ₹91.64 crore with the cost of production worked out at ₹3,592 per tonne.