Coal India Limited Current Affairs

Government appoints Anil Kumar Jha as CMD of Coal India Limited

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has appointed Anil Kumar Jha as full time Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Coal India Limited (CIL). He will be in office till January 31, 2020. He replaces Coal Ministry’s Additional Secretary Suresh Kumar, who had recently assumed additional charge of CMD of CIL.

Anil Kumar Jha

Prior to this appointment, Anil Kumar Jha was CMD of CIL’s subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields. He holds MTech in Mine Planning & Design from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, Jharkhand. He has rich work experience spanning 32 years in field of mine planning, production, management supervision, direction and control of underground as well as open cast coal mines. He also has worked with Central Mine Planning & Design Institute, the exploration arm of CIL, for 14 years, planning both opencast and underground mines.

Coal India Limited (CIL)

It is state-controlled coal mining company headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal. Government of India owns CIL and controls operations of CIL through Ministry of Coal. It is largest coal producing company in the world. It contributes to around 82% of the coal production in India. It was conferred the Maharatna status in 2015, making it one of the seven maharatnas companies.  Its market capitalisation (as of October 2015) was Rs.2.11 lakh crore (US$32 billion) making it India’s 8th most valuable company by market value.

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CCEA approves framework for Coal Bed Methane extraction by Coal India

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has relaxed rules for state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) for extraction of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) lying below coal seams in its blocks in bid to quickly boost production.  Till now, CIL had to apply to oil ministry for a licence to extract coal-bed methane (CBM) from its coal blocks.

Key Facts

CCEA has approved amending clause 3(xiii) of 2015 notification issued by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) under Section 12 of Oil Fields (Regulation and Development) Act (ORD Act), 1948. The decision is in line with the Government’s initiatives of ‘Ease of Doing Business’.

The amendment is granted under Petroleum & Natural Gas Rules 1959 (PNG Rules, 1959) to CIL and its subsidiaries for not applying for grant of license and lease under PNG Rules, 1959 for extraction of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) under their coal bearing areas.

Significance

It will expedite the exploration and exploitation of CBM, enhance availability of natural gas and reduce gap in demand and supply of natural gas. The increased development activities for exploration and exploitation of CBM gas reserves will generate economic activities, thus create employment opportunities.

Coal Bed Methane (CBM)

CBM is generic term used for gas that is found in adsorbed state in coal.  It is natural gas found in coal seams. It mainly consists of Methane (CH4) with minor amounts of nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and heavier hydrocarbons like ethane (C2H6). It is clean source of energy. During the initial years of mining, CBM was vented out and wasted into the atmosphere as it was considered as serious safety hazard while conducting coal mining operations. However, later with advancement of technology it was possible to extract CBM, a precious energy resource and an unconventional form of natural gas.

Advantages of CBM as a fuel

It is environmentally safe and clean fuel which on combustion emits only carbon dioxide and water. It is not only considered as an efficient fuel but also reduces emission of greenhouse gas from coal mining. Its extraction prior to coal mining activities makes mining activities safer by degassing the coal seams.

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