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India's Singareni to Open the Country's Biggest Coal Mine

Indias state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), the countrys number two coal producer, announced it will commence the countrys biggest u...

|Sep 30|magazine4 min read

India’s state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), the country’s number two coal producer, announced it will commence the country’s biggest underground coal mine in October.

The mine, which is expected to generate 2.8 million tons of coal per year, should help the company edge past its output target for the fiscal year.

Singareni’s better-than-expected output will guarantee significant supplies to south India-based power plants as India faces a severe shortage of coal. Nearly half of the country’s power plants are in dire need as they have less than a week’s stock of fuel left.

In recent months, the world’s largest coal producer, Coal India (CIL), has been struggling to increase output as rains have slowed activity in some of its mines.

According to Singareni’s chairman, Sutirtha Bhattacharya, the company will be able to produce roughly 1-1.5 million tons of coal this fiscal year from the new underground mine. The company expected to produce a total of 55 million tons in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, and 56 million the year after that.

"We are the only company to provide more than 100 percent of what we commit to our power customers," Bhattacharya said. "We also make up for others' deficits and help in lowering imports."

Despite having mines across the country, Coal India has fallen short on its production target for April – August by eight million tons.

The company, which accounts for 80 percent of India’s coal, fears it may not be able to meet its commitment of supplying 408 million tons to power firms this fiscal year.