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India reveals coal digitalisation roadmap

India’s government plans to use new technologies to achieve a digital transformation in its coal mining sector.

New Delhi wants to build a stronger digital infrastructure in coal, to enable faster deployment of new technologies and therefore improve efficiencies and increase productivity.

“The scope of this road map is technology enablement in coal mines for transformation across business value chain, leveraging ‘digital technology’ as an accelerator for demonstrating performance enhancement from in the coal mines and increasing productivity, safety and sustainability, ” says the government’s road map.

“[This] while…reducing environmental impact by upgrading conventional technologies to new technologies.”

“The creation of such a system would require access to new-age ecosystems (e.g., start-ups, established vendors, research institutes, etc). The technological transformation will also entail the creation of a new culture in the organisation,” it said.

The roadmap comes after India’s coal ministry said last November that domestic coal and lignite companies should add 5,560MW of renewable capacity by 2030 – to help the South Asian country reach its environmental targets.

State-run companies including Coal India (CIL), Singareni Coal and NLC India will invest US$2.02 billion in renewables under the initiative, said the ministry, taking their combined installed renewable capacity to 7GW.

“Coal has to play a role of primary fuel for power generation in our country for the time being, [so] until renewable sources fully cater to our energy demand, the Ministry of Coal, in line with the commitment [at COP26] has already moved forward with a comprehensive sustainable development plan,” the ministry wrote.

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