India can significantly reduce its dependence on imported oil and gas if the country is able to get gas from coal, a government official told on March 5, 2017.
India’s coal secretary Susheel Kumar said that domestic coal gas can be used as a feedstock for producing urea and other chemicals that can help reduce the country’s import bill by $10 bln in 5 years and cut carbon emissions.
If the country is able to gasify coal and use that instead for the production of chemicals, including urea and methanol, it would lead to reduction in import bill manifold by 2030, Kumar said.
The government is also planning to come up with a series of pilot projects in areas like coal gasification and coal-to-polychemicals next fiscal, the official stated.
Once the projects are successful, government will push for the commercial use of technology to get more value from the huge coal reserves.
Kumar has earlier stated that the government wants to do at least one pilot project on underground coal gasification, preferably on a commercial scale as well.
India has huge coal reserves, mostly in the eastern states of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgrah and Orissa.
According to the government's estimates, the country has about 301 bln metric tons of coal reserves.