Telangana’s SCCL Seeks To Be ‘Net Zero’ By 2024

Highlights :

  • While SCCL’s Net zero claims are not exactly correct, it is laudable that operations at the coal mining firm will be powered by renewable energy by 2024.
Telangana’s SCCL Seeks To Be ‘Net Zero’ By 2024

Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL), a critical coal mining firm that helps meet Telangana’s needs, has declared a plan to become net zero on its electricity consumption by 2024. The firm plans to achieve this mostly on the back of augmenting its solar power generation capacity to 450 megawatts. This it hopes will help it generate 700 million units of energy , equivalent to the amount of energy it consumes every year. Of course, for the company to call it ‘net zero ‘ otherwise would be a fallacy, considering the environmental impact and other emissions it is responsible for, beyond energy consumption for extracting coal and related activities.

SCCL is jointly owned by the Government of Telangana and Government of India on a 51:49 equity basis. The Singareni coal reserves stretch across 350 Km of the Pranahita – Godavari Valley of Telangana with a proven geological reserves aggregating to a whopping 8791 million tonnes. SCCL is currently operating 20 opencast and 24 underground mines in 4 districts of Telangana with a manpower around 43,895.

SCCL’s  700 MU of energy for coal production is used across its 42 mines and also for use in its offices and residential colonies occupied by about 43,000 workers and employees. The company picked on solar power  as an option early in 2020 to reduce its purchases from the grid,

It has an existing 224 MW capacity solar plant across its mines to support mining needs, and a doubling of this capacity will take it to a generation level that it expects will meet all its energy needs from Solar. Even that will be a possible first among PSUs in India.

76 MW capacity is expected to be commissioned by June this year. In the second phase, solar plants with a capacity of 150 MW would be developed in Bhupalapally, Mandamarri and other areas by 2024-end.

As of Fy2020, the last year for which financials are available on its site, the firm had a turnover of just under Rs 20,000 crore, and was operating with a profit margin of close to 5%, or Rs 1000 crore.

Meanwhile coal major CIL (Coal India Limited), which has ambitious renewable energy plans of its own is still awaiting the results of the PLI phase 2 tender where it hopes to get backing for it’s solar manufacturing plans. Besides that, CIL has also been pushing for solar energy itself, but remains nowhere close to ‘net zero’ on electricity consumption too, till perhaps 2027-28.

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