In a big green push CIL starts pilot project to replace use of diesel with LNG in dumpers

Sambalpur: In a big push to reduce its carbon footprint, national miner Coal India Ltd
(CIL) has initiated the process of retrofitting Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
kits in its dumpers – the big trucks engaged in transportation of coal in
mines. This makes significance as the world’s largest coal miner uses
over 4 lakh kilolitres of diesel per annum with an annual expense of over
Rs. 3,500 crores.
The company in association with GAIL (India) Limited and BEML Limited
has taken up a pilot project for retrofitting LNG kits in its two 100 tonne
dumpers working at the subsidiary Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL). CIL
on Tuesday signed a MoU with GAIL an BEML to get this pilot project
executed. Once the LNG kit successfully retrofitted and tested, these
dumpers will be able to run on dual fuel system i.e. both on LNG and
Diesel and their operations will be significantly cheaper and cleaner with
use of LNG.
“This will be a game changer. The company has over 2,500 dumpers
running in its opencast coal mines. The dumper fleet consumes about
65% to 75% of total diesel consumed by the company. LNG will replace
the use of diesel by about 30% to 40% and reduce the fuel cost by about
15%. The move will reduce carbon emission significantly and also save
around Rs. 500 crores annually if all existing Heavy Earth Moving
Machines (HEMMs) including dumpers are retrofitted with LNG kit.
Getting rid of diesel pilferages and adulteration are other added
advantages,” said a senior CIL executive.
The main goal of the pilot project is to monitor the replacement rate of
diesel with LNG in different load and operating conditions and also to
capture the details of any change in characteristics of the dumper
including cycle time and engine performance parameters, the executive
added.
The trial run of dumpers in dual fuel (LNG-diesel) system will be
conducted for 90 days in different load and operating conditions. A technoeconomic study will be done based on the data generated during the trial
run to ascertain the feasibility of the system in CIL mining conditions.
Based on the outcomes of this pilot project, CIL will decide for bulk use of
LNG in its HEMMs, especially dumpers. The company has also planned
to buy HEMMs with only LNG engines if this ongoing pilot projects gets
success. This move will help CIL reduce its carbon footprint drastically
and achieve sustainable goals.
Notably, major mining dumper manufacturers worldwide are now
switching for manufacturing of dumpers having engines with dual fuel
(LNG-Diesel) system. CIL’s effort is a big leap towards making a green
and cost-effective operations of its machines already running in coal
mines.