Kolkata, Apr 29 UNI | 3 months ago

World's single largest coal company, Coal India Limited, which missed its production target in 2013-14 believed that its target failure was largely due to delays in getting environmental clearances for some existing mines of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) and Northern Coalfields Ltd (NCL) and loading constraints at the MCL mines.

This was revealed by CIL chairman S Narsing Rao in an interview with India Coal Market Watch (ICMW) yesterday.

The Maharatna CIL failed the production target of 582 mt in 2013-14 as against the actual production level of 552 mt in 2012-13 due to two major issues.

'Of course, it was a tough target. An incremental volume of 30 million tons (mt) in 2013-14 over 2012-13 was really a tough target. I was expecting a growth of 20-25 mt, but we ended up with a growth of only 10 mt,' Mr Rao explained when quized what actually went wrong in 2013-14 so far as missing the targets of production and off-take.

'One was the loading problem at MCL which was created by the locals of the area, which is still continuing. We lost 2-3 mt production at Talcher on account of bandhs, police action, arrests etc. Today also we are facing the problem, but now it is only confined to two sidings,' he said.

'Then unfortunately some procedural problem came up in the environmental clearance at Lakhanpur which has a capacity of 3.75 mt and Barakpur (about 2-3 mt). So about 6 mt of production was lost due to issues related to environmental and forestry clearances. Of this, around 4 mt was lost due to environmental clearances and about 2 mt on account of forestry clearances,' Rao said.

'We were initially hoping that these clearances would come by but at the last moment there were some issues,' he pointed out.

Besides MCL, production was also affected to some extent at NCL, the chairman said, adding, 'Here, also we lost around 3.75 mt of production because of the environmental clearance-related problem.'

'These two were avoidable, but then there were other general problems as well. Our production had suffered by around 5 mt in October 2013 due to Cyclone Phailin. Almost the entire production was gone in Orissa and in other subsidiaries. In fact, except for NCL, all subsidiaries were affected by Phailin,' the chairman said.

In addition, there were problems related to quality and demand from the power sector, he said.

'But overall, production was affected to the extent of 20 mt and because of that we could achieve only 10 mt incremental production in 2013-14 as against the targeted 30 mt,' Mr Rao said.

(Posted on 29-04-2014)