Coal India places Rs 2,900 crore equipment order with Belarus-based equipment manufacturer, Belaz

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Coal India (CIL) has placed Rs 2,900 crore order for purchase of 96 dumpers of 240 tonne capacity on Belarus-based mining equipment manufacturer Belaz.

The amount for the purchase of the dumpers will be met out of the company’s own finances. CIL’s board has given its nod to close the deal and letter of award (LoA) has been issued. The purchase package includes the cost of the dumpers and spares for eight years including one year warranty period. Belaz bagged the contract through a global tender process.

The first batch of six dumpers will start rolling in within eight months of signing of the contract. Thereafter, on CIL’s green signal of their performance the remaining quantity would be delivered in batches of four every month. These 96 dumpers will be deployed in South Eastern Coalfields (SECL) taking the total tally of the subsidiary’s 240 tonne dumpers to 162, with 66 previously in operation. Of the 96 dumpers, 84 will be put into operation in the Gevra project and the remaining 12 in Kusmunda. Both are mega opencast projects of SECL.

The order value of the dumpers is nearly a third of CIL’s Rs 10,000-crore provisional capex target set for the ongoing fiscal. The miner spent Rs 844 crore as capex in Q1 and company sources said the Q2 figure will be more than the preceding quarter.

With reduced domestic demand of coal, CIL has currently shifted its focus to overburden removal — the process of removing the top soil and rock to expose coal seams in its open cast mines — which will enable it to accelerate production and supply the fuel at short notice. Dumpers are primarily used in open-cast mines and aid in the transport of over-burden.CIL produces about 83 per cent of the fuel in the country, and with falling power demand, the company’s production decreased 0.8 per cent annually to 602.1 million tonnes in FY20, recording the first annual decrease in at least 20 years.

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