Coal production in the country needs to be scaled up as demand for the dry fuel is expected to rise with increasing economic activities in the post-COVID era, an official said on Friday.
Coal India Ltd chairman and managing director Pramod Agrawal said the miner is emphasising on raising its output as it is committed to fulfil the energy requirement of the country.
Agrawal inspected mining operations at Talcher belt of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a subsidiary of CIL, in Odisha.
"The country's need is to produce more and more coal," he said, highlighting the prospect of demand surge for the dry fuel with increasing industrial activities in the post-COVID period.
There was a sudden fall in demand due to the pandemic, which had forced the miner's subsidiaries to slow down production and focus on other works like removal of overburden and strengthening of transportation infrastructure.
The Maharatna PSU will cross the 650 million tonne production mark during the 2020-21 financial year, he said.
Agrawal appreciated MCL for achieving growth in all the major parameters of production, dispatch and overburden removal.
The coal behemoth had produced 405 million tonne by the end of third quarter of the current fiscal, and Odisha- based MCL's contribution was 101.8 million tonne.
Agrawal laid the foundation stone of Bhubaneswari coal handling plant (CHP) phase II, which is part of the first mile connectivity (FMC) projects in MCL.
Bhuabneswari CHP phase-II with an estimated cost of Rs 247 crore will have a coal handling capacity of 15 million tonne per annum.
MCL chairman-cum-managing director P K Sinha and other senior officials were present during Agrawal's visit.
The CIL chief appreciated leaders of trade unions in MCL for their constructive role towards the growth of the company.