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The Hindu
The Hindu
B. Chandrashekhar

SCCL’s plans for new forays make slow progress

The JK-5 opencast coal mine at Yellandu of Bhadradri Kothagudem district. (Source: file photo)

Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL), which has already diversified into thermal and solar power generation by having 2×600 megawatt and 220 MW units, respectively, in addition to its core activity of coal mining, is planning to enter varied activities such as sand and iron ore mining as well as other minerals.

Although the pace of such plans is not moving on a fast track for now, some sustained activity is still in progress.

The company has been planning to join hands with the State Mineral Development Corporation in the area of sand mining, not by bidding for sand quarrying blocks but by supplying sand segregated from the overburden removed for coal extraction.

“Preliminary tests conducted for ascertaining the percentage of sand in the overburden for utilising it in the construction activity have thrown positive results,” a senior official of the SCCL said.

As part of coal mining, the company removes overburden of over 300 million cubic metres every year and the overburden contains sand useful for the construction activity.

The company has taken to exploring areas other than thermal and solar generation on the suggestion made by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao at several review meetings held on the company’s performance and the need to diversify further for sustaining the company for more generations.

The company’s plans to enter iron ore and limestone mining have also not made much headway so far except for asking for a detailed project report on the same.

“Once crystallised, the company could explore the opportunities of iron ore mining in Bayyaram and other areas in the State. However, such foraying needs the approval of the government.

Admitting that company is more focused on protecting coal blocks within the Singareni areas now from the entry of private players following the rollout of plans by the Centre to privatise more coal blocks in the country, the SCCL officials said plans of setting up a floating solar power plant with 350 MW capacity on the waters of Lower Manair Dam near Karimnagar and adding an 800 MW unit to its thermal power in Mancherial district were moving in the right direction.

“Survey work for the floating solar power plant is in progress and once that is completed the company will invite bidders for the tender of setting up the plant. Similarly, the proposal of adding another unit to the existing thermal power plant is also in progress”, the coal company officials said.

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