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Last Update 17 April 2023

Coal gasification will be a key step in India's quest to decarbonize and limit the advancement of non-fossil-fuel based energy resources

SCG projects will cut reliance on imports of LNG and Methanol which shall meet the aim of GoI of being Atamnirbhar Bharat.

As India announced its environmental targets in "Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)" under Paris Accord 2016, its quest to reduce the uptake of fossil fuel energy required adequate thrust. Also, with the Russia-Ukraine war and COVID-19 prior to that the import volumes of LNG and Methanol kept on witnessing growth which demanded a local alternative for the country. In this regard the announcement to push surface coal gasification (SCG) projects in India could act as a game-changer.

Mr. Ravi Shekhar, Director & Head, of Eninrac Consulting says "Surface coal gasification (SCG) might evolve as a preferential alternative to substitute the burden of importing LNG in India substantially. Additionally, with coal to chemical tapping opportunity of producing methanol, ammonia and ammonium nitrate it could lead as a catalyst for India’s reduction in import volumes of these chemicals. For instance, the country imports 92% of Methanol for its consumption which has diversified end use extending from olefins to gasoline blending options. Separate auction window of coal from CIL, allocation of ear-marked land for development of SCG projects, dedicated policy for methanol blending programs such as M15, M85 and M100, incentivizing the domestic off-take of methanol and incentivizing revenue share of coal block auction may serve as the right fillip to push enhanced SCG ecosystem in the country. Essentially different models could serve as potential for SCG projects like capital grant, hybrid model and operational grant model as per interests of the industry and Government."

The syngas produced by coal gasification can be used to generate urea and a variety of products such as methanol, di-methly ether (DME), and olefins which thereby allows India to minimise imports and be self-reliant. Syngas, Carbon monoxide and hydrogen act as essential reducing agents used in steel production as they will push reduction of imports of furnace oil. India, with huge reliance on coal based power generation can benefit immensely from SCG as the synthetic gas can be used in an IGCC system to generate electricity at lower cost and be pollution free.

Surface coal gasification will offer import substitution for natural gas in the country


Apart from LNG import reduction, the surface coal gasification offers methanol, ammonia and ammonium nitrate as key products for which key policy interventions by GoI is already in place

Gasification Mission
The National Coal Gasification Mission (100 MT by 2030) document was released by Ministry of coal in September 2021 which shall act as roadmap for SCG projects in India
Preferential Auction
Ministry of Coal has provided for 50% rebate in revenue share in commercial coal block auctions for certain projects of coal gasification in India
Separate Window
The MoC, GoI has also created a separate window for auction of coal on long term basis (15 years) for both private & public sector
Stakeholder Involvement
Ministry of Coal is actively promoting the benefits of coal gasification in the country involving stakeholders from research, academia, industry and consultants
Budget Announcement
In the Budget 2022, four (4) pilot projects for coal gasification and conversion of coal into chemicals to evolve both financial and technical viability

- Communications Team


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