The Ministry of Coal is unwavering in its commitment to reduce India’s dependence on imports and boost domestic production in the coal mining sector. Aligned with the principles of Atmanirbhar Bharat and the “Make in India” campaign, the ministry is taking strategic steps to foster indigenous manufacturing capabilities. The Ministry issued a press release on November 23, 2023.
To achieve this goal, an interdisciplinary high-level committee chaired by the Director (Technical) at Coal India Limited (CIL) was formed. The committee, comprising representatives from various ministries, industry associations, and stakeholders, was tasked with providing recommendations for strengthening domestic manufacturing of Heavy Earth Moving Machinery (HEMM) and underground mining equipment.
Given the anticipated demand for equipment in the next decade, the committee submitted its final report, emphasizing the need for indigenous manufacturing to meet the requirements of opencast and underground mines. Currently, CIL imports high-capacity equipment, incurring significant customs duty expenses. In response, CIL has devised a phased plan to gradually phase out imports over the next six years, encouraging the development of domestically manufactured equipment.
The committee recommended standardization of equipment to promote domestic manufacturing, urging Captive/Commercial Mine operators and contractors to prioritize indigenous equipment. Tender clauses are proposed to align with the “Make in India” mission, promoting the use of domestically manufactured equipment. To incentivize manufacturers, the committee suggested a scheme to encourage the design, development, and production of equipment in India for five years under the “Make in India” initiative.
CIL has initiated comprehensive standardization of mining equipment to ensure widespread use of domestically manufactured equipment without compromising productivity. The move aligns with the overarching goals of Atmanirbhar Bharat and “Make in India,” aiming to reduce the breakdown period of imported equipment by manufacturing major aggregates domestically.
CIL has already begun procuring High Capacity HEMM and advanced Continuous Miners, with efforts to promote indigenous production. Domestic manufacturers have been identified for opencast and underground mining equipment, emphasizing technology upgradation and capacity building. CIL has also introduced Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) Load Haul Dump (LHD) units, contributing to improved ventilation and cost savings.
Fostering partnerships with global equipment manufacturers and exploring the utilization of government infrastructure facilities are top priorities. This initiative not only revolutionizes coal mining in India but also positions the country as a manufacturing powerhouse. By advancing “Make in India” in the HEMM sector, the Ministry of Coal aims to create a robust ecosystem supporting innovation, empowering the workforce, and strengthening the economy.