Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Central Government has approved captive mining for production of gas through coal gasification and liquefaction. The underground coal gasification programme is aimed at extraction of energy from coal seams which cannot be otherwise mined through conventional methods.

The recent rise in global oil prices has led many countries to seek gainful use of such coal reserves for energy extraction, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said here on Thursday. It said that while underground coal gasification was a recognised ‘clean coal’ technology, surface gasification of coal was a proven technology and both could be taken up as per the needs of the industry.

Coal liquefaction aims at converting coal to liquid fuels, for which commercially proven technology is available.

South Africa has been successfully producing gasoline and fuel oil from coal for quite some time.

Fillip to technology

As for India, its coal reserves are amenable to coal gasification and liquefaction. The recognition of coal gasification and liquefaction as end uses, the statement noted, would give a fillip to development of technologies by public and private sector entities.

The notification would facilitate allocation of coal blocks for this purpose to interested parties, it said.