India’s Biggest Ever Coal Mine Auction

The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman launched the biggest ever coal mine auction on November 3, 2022.

About the biggest coal mine auction

In the sixth round of commercial coal auctions, Union Coal Ministry has put up 141 mines for auction in 11 states, with a cumulative peak rate (PRC) of 305 million tonnes. 71 of these are new coal mines, 61 are rollovers from the previous tranches and 8 have earlier received single bids and are the second attempt of the 5th round of commercial coal auctions.

These coal mines are situated in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. The states with the highest number of blocks is Madhya Pradesh (30), Chattisgarh (28) and Odisha (27).

During the launch of the sixth round of coal auction, the Union Finance Minister urged investors to simultaneously focus on coal gasification since the Indian Government is going to release Rs 6,000 crore production linked incentive (PLI) scheme. The coal gasification is a cleaner option than the burning of coal. It is the process of coal being partially oxidised with air, oxygen, stream or carbon dioxide to form a fuel gas (syngas).

Which did the Indian government start commercial coal mine auctions?

The Indian government launched the first-ever tranche of commercial coal mine auction in the country in June 2020. This was done to boost domestic coal production to a level that enables India to export the fossil fuel. The first tranche involved auctioning of 41 coal mines.

Since June 2020 until November 2 this year, the Indian Government has auctioned 64 coal mines having PRC of 152 MT. Few of these coal mines will commence operations from 2022 itself. Two years since the first tranche was launched, India still imports around 200 million tonnes of coal. The coal exports from India are almost absent.

Commercially auctioned coal mines are expected to bring investments worth Rs 22,862 crore and provide employment opportunities, either directly or indirectly, to over 2 lakh people.



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