• Coal plays an important role in fulfilling the energy requirement of India by meeting about 53% of the energy needs of the country.
  • Lot of methane and other gases, released during coal mining, are vented into the atmosphere to make the coal mining safe. Going by estimates, about 1 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) equivalent of methane is released in the atmosphere every year (US EPA estimate) on account of coal mining operations.
  • Mitigation and utilization of the methane produced from the coal mining operations has been under focus at Govt. level on account of the accrued advantages like making future mining safe and getting additional source of clean energy.
  • Technology to be adopted for the purpose is under evolving stage in India and an international cooperation in this field was felt essential
  • After establishment of the Clearinghouse, the envisaged activities were taken up and as the first step; an office of the India CMM/CBM Clearinghouse was established in CMPDI with all modern amenities.
  • Highlights of the important activities carried out by the clearinghouse are furnished as under:

Identification of prospective CMM blocks for commercial development:

  • Keeping in view the objective of the Clearinghouse, the work related to identification of suitable blocks within the coalfields having occurrence of high rank coal for commercial development of CMM was taken up on priority.
  • The development of CMM in India will be different from the international scenario, as the prospective coal seams for harnessing of CMM would be a virgin seams lying below the worked out seams.
  • The Indian mining scenario is characterized by low level of mechanization and also slows moving faces. As such, pre-drainage of methane from the working mines/faces, which are followed internationally may not be applicable.
  • The technological challenges associated with harnessing of CMM in Indian geo-mining conditions and inputs from the demonstration project on development & utilization of CMM within the mining areas were considered in identifying prospective CMM areas.
  • An exercise was carried out after assimilation of coal quality/gas attributes and other data and a comprehensive data dossiers on 5 identified blocks were prepared with following details:

Sl. No. Block Name Area (Sq.Km) Coal Resource (Million Tonne) Gas Content (M3/Tonne) Prognosticated CMM Resource (BCM)
1 Pootkee-Bulliary CMM Block 16 1185.5 2.0-16.0 7
2 Moonidih CMM Block 13 1077.1 2.0-16.0 7.81
3 Mohuda Sub-basin CMM Block 18.2 102.6 4 0.41
3 Asnapani-Jarangdih Shaft CMM Block 4 615.9 10 6.16
4 N. Kathara Ph-I to III and Uchitdih CMM Block 5.6 835.0 10 8.35

  • The preparation of data dossiers and identification of plans were the first step for taking up commercial activities related to development of CMM within the coal mining areas under lease hold of CIL.
  • An investor friendly tender document was prepared and global tender was floated for taking up commercial development in the identified areas.
  • Certain issues rose regarding the operational mechanism and were deliberated at the highest level of Govt. The same has now been settled and activities related to commercial development will soon be taken.
  • Initiating the commercial development of CMM and resolution of issues were the major objectives of the clearinghouse and the same has been achieved. The effort made in this direction is expected to culminate in the form of commercial activities of CMM within a short time span.

 Assessment of CMM Potential in Large Opencast Mines:

  • Keeping in view the fact that majority of coal production in India is coming from opencast mines, an assessment of CMM potential related to large open cast mines in Moher Sub-basin, Singrauli Coalfield and Korba Coalfield has been carried out with a view to degasify the projectised areas of Opencast mines.

CBM specific data in the dip side of projectised areas in Moher sub-basin, Singrauli and Korba coalfields have been generated and data dossiers have been prepared and further commercial activity will be taken up soon.