Coal India Ltd., the world’s largest coal miner is planning to invest in a 3,000-megawatt solar energy project in a joint venture with NLC India, a Navaratna company under the Ministry of Coal.
The Coal India Ltd. Chairman Pramod Agarwal said that in this joint venture with NLC India Ltd, his company is planning to invest around Rs. 125,000 crores in solar power projects with a capacity of 3,000 megawatts. Coal India will invest some Rs. 60,000 crores by 2024.
The company also wants to compete in India’s solar auctions and win projects by offering the lowest prices. Pramod Agarwal said that Solar will take over (from) coal slowly as a major energy provider in the coming years. The group had closed 82 mines in the three years up to March 2020 and reduced its workforce by 18,600 employees. The Chairman further said that he expected further reductions to the workforce and the savings would be reinvested into solar wafer production. Coal India’s interest in Solar energy marks a major shift for the firm, which produces most of India’s coal.
India is the world’s second-largest consumer of coal. India uses about one billion tons of coal annually. Coal India Ltd. is the country’s biggest producer of coal. The company is aiming to produce 710 million tons of coal in 2020-21.