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CIL signs JV pact with BHEL for setting up India’s 1st indigenous tech, commercial coal gasification plant

State-run Coal India Limited (CIL) and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) have signed a joint venture agreement (JVA) on Wednesday for setting up India’s first commercial-scale ammonium nitrate plant through surface coal gasification (SCG) technology route.

The announcement comes a month after the government approved a Rs 8,500-crore Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme for coal gasification projects. The plant will not only be India’s first commercial coal gasification project, it will also be the first to deploy an indigenously-developed coal gasification technology devised by BHEL on a commercial scale.

Coal gasification plant expected to start operations in 2028-29

The plant will come up in Lakhanpur area of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), Odisha. It is planned to produce 2,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate per day initially. The annual production is slated at 6.60 lakh tonnes which requires 1.3 million tonnes (MT) of coal. The coal will be supplied by Coal India. BHEL would bring to the table indigenously-developed pressurised fluidised bed gasification (PFBG) technology for this purpose. “The synergy and partnership of the two corporate giants is a big step towards the National Coal Gasification Mission which facilitates the utilisation of chemical properties of coal,” said the Coal Ministry in a statement.

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