State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) has pledged to obtain carbon offsets of more than 60,000 tonnes by the end of this year, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Coal Ministry. In addition to taking immediate measures for an efficient use of energy, CIL, which represents more than 80% of national coal production, has also drawn up an ambitious five-year plan for carbon offsetting in various areas of its operation.

“… CIL is committed to achieving carbon offsetting of more than 60,000 tonnes by the end of this year, which will be a major step forward,” the coal ministry said in the statement.

In order to reduce the carbon footprint in its operating area, CIL has placed particular emphasis on energy efficiency measures and is moving forward with a series of measures to offset carbon emissions in mining in all of its coal-producing companies.

Coal companies have several areas to implement energy efficiency measures such as settlements, buildings, offices and industrial establishments apart from the efficient management of the power supply.

However, the main reduction in carbon emissions comes from various mining activities such as heavy earth moving machinery (HEMM), transportation, ventilation and pumping.

With the help of its subsidiaries, CIL has taken various energy saving and efficiency measures over the years.

The major focus of the company is the replacement of the huge fleet of HEMM equipment operated either by the CIL in a departmental manner or contractually for diesel consumption by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

This will be a major breakthrough not only in reducing costs, but also in reducing carbon emissions.

The CIL, which depends on the Ministry of Coal, took the initiative to launch a pilot project in collaboration with GAIL in certain CIL mining sites before starting the massive use of LNG.

GAIL will establish an LNG storage and distribution system and organize the transport of LNG from the terminal to the mine site, among others.

BEML will provide all technical assistance. The performance of the dumper and engine will be monitored and studied throughout the pilot period in collaboration with Cummins. One of the pilot projects for the Bharatpur open pit mine of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, a subsidiary of CIL, in Odisha, will be completed by the end of this year.

A global model is being developed to convert as many heavy goods vehicles as possible to LNG in the years to come.

Another significant addition will be the introduction of approximately 1,500 electric vehicles in all CIL mining areas over the next five years. Around 200 e-vehicles alone will be put into service by the end of this year.

Pumping water in surface and underground mines is done on a large scale using orthodox equipment which results in higher energy consumption. CIL will introduce approximately 1,700 energy efficient pump motors in all of its mining operations.

In its various establishments, CIL will replace approximately 5,000 air conditioners and other conventional devices with star-rated energy efficient devices. Likewise, around 2.5 lakh of LED lights will be introduced instead of conventional lights to save energy.

Over 1 lakh of energy efficient super fans will be used in offices replacing the old ones. In the settlements, around 2,200 street lights will be put on automatic timers to save energy.

“On the implementation of the aforementioned energy efficiency measures, CIL envisaged creating a carbon offset of around 2.5 tonnes lakh over the next five years,” he said.

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