India seeks clean coal technologies from South Africa

January 6th, 2011 - 2:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Jan 6 (IANS) Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has sought help from South Africa in the field of clean technologies like conversion of the mineral into oil, gasification and underground mining using modern techniques.”South Africa being the owner of oldest and largest coal-to-Oil plant could assist India to transfer the technology in the other mining projects also,” Jaiswal said during talks with South African Minister Susan Shabangu here.

“India is committed to introducing clean technology in view of increasing environmental concern and it has already planned to introduce coal-to-oil technology in two of its blocks, each having capacity of 1.5 million tonnes coal reserve,” the visiting minister said.

Jaiswal, who is on a four-day visit to South Africa with a team of top officials, also told Shabangu that the state-run Coal India was interested in coal properties here and both countries could explore joint ventures in this area.

“South Africa can also participate in the high capacity underground mining activities in India and in setting up of coal beneficiation plants for upgrading the quality of Indian coal,” he said.

The Indian side particularly asked the host government to assist it in underground coal gasification technology, which is considered to be a clean technology as all pollutants are left underground and only the resultant gas is taken out operate power turbines.

The team said the Indian industry was also very keen to explore coal resources in South Africa and expressed the hope that very soon cooperation between both the governments in the area of coal would increase further.

The South African minister said that her country considered India a close partner in the coal sector and was keen to have wide ranging cooperation in all aspects of coal mining, mine safety and reclamation activities.

“She offered her country’s expertise in coal washeries, deep coal mining technology and clean coal technology,” an Indian official present during the meeting said. “She assured support to any Indian firm that may have interests in the South African coal sector.”

Later, Jaiswal also visited the coal-to-liquid plant of SASOL, the largest in the world using this technology, along with chairman and managing director of Coal India Partha S. Bhattacharyya. They also discussed technology transfer to India.

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