ShipMin officials proposes coastal routes to move coal produced in eastern India

2022-07-07 16:53:04 Shipping News

Government is evaluating alternative routes for moving coal produced in eastern India, primarily from the fields of South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL).

These discussions on rationalising the coal movement have been taking place over the last 15 days. Shipping ministry officials said coastal shipping routes have been proposed to ease the congestion on railway lines and rake shortages during peak demand seasons.

 Movement of coal from Paradip to other ports along the eastern coast is feasible

According to shipping ministry officials, the movement of coal from Paradip to other ports along the eastern coast is feasible considering the vacant capacity at ports in the region and proximity to power plants in southern India.

A longer route of moving coal from eastern India to Gujarat is also being considered. This route was proposed by an Asian Development Bank (ADB) study commissioned by the Centre.

 According to ADB’s estimates, certain thermal power plants have existing linkages with SECL, which is about 600 km from Paradip port. Shifting the linkage from SECL to MCL will reduce the first mile distance by 200 km from mine to load port. It will also reduce the total cost of coastal shipping, which will be lower than current rail cost from SECL.

These changes can lower the cost of moving coal from east India to Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd’s Wanakbori power plant by Rs 200 per tonne.

“Similarly, other Gujarat/Maharashtra-based power plants in Gandhinagar, Ukai, Dhanau that have SECL linkages, can be evaluated for shift to MCL by adopting rail-sea-rail route,” the ADB study said.

Shipping ministry officials said domestic ports are operating at around 50% capacity, and can easily go up to 75%.

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