Gasification “better pathway to CCS in India”

Gasification “better pathway to CCS in India”

For India to develop CCS, it may be easier to look at developing entirely new industries from gasified coal, such as making steel, ammonia (a feedstock for fertiliser urea), methanol and even liquid fuels from coal gas, rather than try to install carbon capture on the existing coal power stations.

For these gasified coal-based businesses to be viable, it would be necessary to source high ash coals with consistent compositions at about $15/tonne and blend it with sweeteners, rather than the typical price paid for Indian low rank coals at $30/tonne. Even in the case of captive coal sourcing, the price of coal sourced through coal block auctions would raise the price of coal much beyond the viable cost for gasification, and one will likely land up in a situation where no coal blocks for gasification get allocated.

But if coal were made available for gasification and carbon capture at a lower price, the benefits it would get from these new industries through jobs, tax revenue and economic multiplier effects would far outweigh and offset any losses due to the lower coal price. Perhaps a financial solution could be devised using investment tax credits and tax credits for gasification and carbon capture, so that the effective cost of coal for gasification is about $15, but the coal company receives the market price or levelized coal cost after taking auction price into account.

If designed and implemented right, gasification can work comfortably on high ash low rank coals – which is a large part of the 300bn tonnes of coal India has.

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