For setting up four large scale coal-to-chemical projects through surface coal gasification (SCG) route, Coal India Limited (CIL) has signed three separate memorandums of understanding (MoU), one each with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and GAIL (India) Limited. In addition, NLC India Limited (NLCIL) has signed a MoU with BHEL.
The proposed SCG projects are planned to be set up in West Bengal, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu at an aggregated estimated cost of Rs 350 billion. Through SCG route coal is converted into syngas. This can be subsequently processed for downstream production of value added chemicals which are otherwise produced through imported natural gas or crude oil at enormous cost.