State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) are forming two joint ventures, one for a Coal-to-Liquids plant, the other to increase coal production to feed the plant. India is the world’s third largest coal producer (after China and the United States).
The proposed CTL venture would use high-sulfur coal from the North Eastern Coalfields (NEC) in Assam.
OIL projects requiring some 3.5 million tonnes of coal per year for CTL feedstock. NEC’s current annual production is less than one million tonnes.
OIL has concluded that CTL is competitive with crude at a cost of around US$40 per barrel.
Earlier this year, four leading Indian industrial groups—Jindal, Essar, Tata and Bhushan Steel—began exploratory talks with SASOL of South Africa on the use of its CTL technology in India.