India’s 1st Pilot Project for Underground Coal Gasification Initiated by Ministry of Coal

New Delhi: India’s first ever pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification (UGC) has been initiated in Jharkhand, the Ministry of Coal said in a statement on Monday, reported The Statesman.

Under the strategic direction of the Coal Ministry, Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) has embarked on an innovative pilot project for Underground Coal Gasification at the Kasta coal block in Jamtara District, Jharkhand.

This first ever groundbreaking initiative aims to revolutionise the coal industry by using in-situ coal gasification to convert it into valuable gases such as methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide.

“These gases can be utilised to produce synthetic natural gas, chemical feedstocks for fuels, fertilizers, explosives, and other industrial applications. The Ministry of Coal is fully committed to promoting coal gasification projects, recognising their potential to transform coal into various high-value chemical products,” the coal ministry said.

The first phase involves preparing a Technical Feasibility Report through borehole drilling and core testing while the second phase will focus on coal gasification at a pilot scale.

This ambitious R&D project is funded by the CIL R&D Board, It will be a collaborative effort between Eastern Coalfields Ltd and Ergo Exergy as sub-implementing agencies.

The Ministry of Coal said the successful execution of this pilot project is expected to create transformative opportunities for India’s energy sector.

Underground Coal Gasification offers a significant advantage by providing access to coal resources that are economically unviable through traditional mining methods.

In alignment with this policy, Coal India selected the Kasta coal block to implement UCG technology tailored to Indian geo-mining conditions. Managed by ECL in collaboration with CMPDI Ranchi and Ergo Exergy Technologies Inc. (EETI) from Canada, this project spans two years and comprises two phases.

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