Prashant Modi explains GEECL’s plans for expansion

Prashant Modi - ExpansionCompany expansion
by Prashant Modi

GEECL (Great Eastern Energy Corporation) has announced its new plans to invest Rs 3000 Crore in the exploration and distribution of CBM in 2013.  Prashant Modi, who serves as GEECL’s chief executive, has said that they would be drilling another 80 wells on the block in Asansol, where they currently operate 23 wells. Situated approximately 200km from Kolkata, the Asansol block has more than 2 trillion cubic feet of methane gas, making it commercial viable for at least another two decades.

Prashant Modi also stated that the demand within the local industrial area is high enough to warrant the extra wells, with factories, power plants and steel plants already using GEECL’s CBM to run their operations. CBM, Modi says, will eventually replace other conventional sources of fuel such as coal and oil. The company intends to set up stations for the compressed natural gas it has extracted from the coal seams, so that vehicles around Durgapur, Barakar and Asansol can be fuelled by gas developed by GEECL. Eventually, Prashant Modi explains, they will extend these stations to Kolkata as well.

GEECL has been listed on the Alternative Investment Market, a section of the London Stock Exchange for many years now, and to fund the setting up of these stations, will be taking out a loan of Rs 350 Crore from the bank and using Rs 200 Crore of its equity. The remaining money required, Prashant Modi says, will be coming from sales.

GEECL first began to consider the idea of coal bed methane exploration in 1992, when it realised that it could capitalise on the enormous coal reserves around India and simultaneously reduce the amount of methane emissions into the atmosphere. CBM exploration and production had proven to be hugely popular in the US and Australia at the time, and GEECL made the decision to use the same technology these countries had in a bid to begin CBM production in India.  According to Prashant Modi, today GEECL is the only Indian company to have successfully produced CBM on a large scale.

CBM drainage systems – what are the benefits? An explanation featuring Prashant Modi

Coal bed methane drainage systems have become increasingly popular with energy companies over the last few years. Aside from the cheaper costs associated with the shallow coals beds, Prashant Modi, an expert in the subject, says that this type of system offers a number of advantages in terms of finance and efficiency. Here we go through these benefits in more detail.

English: Road end sign, Letham Moss Composite ...

Prashant Modi – Road end sign, Letham Moss Composite Energy are extracting coal bed methane from flooded coal seams beneath Letham. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most appealing aspects of the coal bed methane drainage system for most natural gas companies is the savings which can be made in ventilation power costs. Coal bed methane drainage systems do not require the installation of additional ventilation methods for production, which can save the energy company a significant amount of money over time. Prashant Modi says that this reduction in ventilation costs also leads on to further savings, as there is less need for development openings. This means that the number and size of shafts which connect the coal seam to the external surface can be cut down on, resulting in far cheaper production costs.

Coal bed methane drainage systems also result in an increased reserve –with less development openings such as head-gates, sub-mains and mains, a larger quantity of methane from the coal can then be extracted from blocks of a fixed size. This is because only about half of the methane inside coal which is located in the development sections of the mine can be extracted, whilst more than 85% of the methane located in the production sections of a mine is suitable for extraction.

Yet another benefit of coal bed methane drainage systems, according to Prashant Modi, is that there are fewer delays associated with the production process as a result of excess water. The presence of large volumes of water in the roof strata of a coal mine is often cited as the reason for costly delays occurring with underground mining work, particularly in relation to the development sections inside the mine. According to Prashant Modi, these delays can be mitigated, and in some cases completely eliminated, by the use of a coal bed methane drainage system.