Coal India, BHEL Join Hands to Set Up Coal Gas-Based Ammonium Nitrate Plant in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: In a significant move towards India’s self-sufficiency goals, Coal India Limited (CIL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) signed a joint venture (JV) agreement to establish an ammonium nitrate plant in Odisha’s Lakhanpur area, within Mahanadi Coalfields Limited utilizing.

The agreement, announced by the Coal Ministry, heralds the advent of a groundbreaking venture utilizing surface coal gasification technology.

Initially, the plant aims to produce 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate per day, with an annual production capacity slated at 6.60 lakh tonnes. The project requires 1.3 million tonnes of coal, which CIL will supply. Leveraging BHEL’s indigenously developed pressurised fluidised bed gasification (PFBG) technology, this collaboration marks a significant stride towards the National Coal Gasification Mission.

Ammonium nitrate, a critical component in bulk explosives manufacturing, finds extensive use in CIL’s open-cast mining operations, essential for coal production. The establishment of this plant not only ensures a reliable raw material source but also aligns with the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan, reducing import dependence.

Coal Secretary Amrit Lal Meena expressed confidence in the project’s potential to serve as a model, emphasizing the government’s commitment to gasification. Highlighting the significance of coal gasification, he affirmed the availability of necessary government support, including financial aid.

Directors from both CIL and BHEL, Debasish Nanda and Jai Prakash Srivastava respectively, formalized the joint venture agreement. CIL looks forward to exploring alternative, eco-friendly coal utilization avenues, prioritizing coal gasification after meeting power sector demands. The venture holds promise for producing synthetic natural gas and serving as a feedstock for downstream chemical production and power generation.

The feasibility report for the plant, entrusted to Projects and Development India Limited, is underway, with land acquisition slated for completion by September 2024, paving the way for subsequent construction activities.

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