India’s biggest underground coal mine opens next month

India’s biggest underground coal mine opens next month

India's state-owned Singareni Collieries said Monday it will begin operations at the country's biggest underground coal mine in October, expecting to generate 2.8 million tonnes of the fossil fuel per year.

The company, which is India’s second-largest coal producer, also said the opening of the mine should help it edge past its output target for this fiscal year, Press Trust of India reports.

Most of the nation’s power plants with critical stocks are suffering from low levels of supply from Coal India (CIL), the country’s and the world’s largest coal producer, which is struggling to increase output as rains slowed activity in some of its mines.

The firm fell short of its production target of 183.9 million tonnes for April-August by 8 million tonnes. It now fears that may not be able to meet its commitment of supplying 408 million tonnes to power firms this fiscal year.

India’s coal output hit 565 million tonnes in the fiscal year to March, making it the world's third-largest producer of the fossil fuel, behind China and the U.S.  Yet it relies heavily on imports because of mismanagement and an onerous bureaucracy in coal exploration, production and power generation. As a result, nearly a quarter of India's 1.2 billion people have no electricity, according to the World Bank.

Image by JT_Palmer|Flickr Commons.