Importance of coal handling plant

Coal-handling plants play a crucial role in the Power industry. Have you ever wondered how the coal that is used to power your home or workplace gets from the ground to the power plant? Or how it’s stored, processed, and transported safely? The answer lies in the coal handling plant.

As our dependence on coal continues, so does the need for effective and efficient coal-handling plants. However, the importance of these plants goes beyond just power generation. They also play a vital role in ensuring safety, preventing environmental pollution, and improving overall productivity.

If you’re involved in the mining/power industry or curious about how coal is processed and transported, this blog is for you. In this article, we will explore the importance of coal-handling plants, their components, and the benefits they provide.

So, let’s dive into coal-handling plants and discover why they are so important.

Components of Coal Handling Plant

Understanding the various components that work together to handle and transport coal efficiently is essential. Here are the main components of a coal-handling plant:

Unloading System

  • Used to unload coal from incoming ships, trains, or trucks.
  • Consists of a receiving hopper/dump hopper, belt conveyors, etc

Crushing System

  • Used to crush coal into smaller pieces
  • Helps to increase the surface area of coal, making it easier to burn efficiently
  • Consists of crushers, belt conveyor, and vibrating screens

Conveying System

  • Used to transport coal from one location to another
  • Consists of a series of belt conveyors, trippers, and chutes

Stacking System

  • Used to stack coal in a storage yard for future use
  • Consists of a stacker, a stacker reclaimer, and a yard conveyor

Reclaiming System

  • Used to reclaim coal from the storage yard
  • Consists of a stacker reclaimer, a conveyor, and a crusher
  • Each of these components plays a vital role in efficiently handling and transporting coal. Working together ensures that coal is processed and transported safely and effectively.

Importance of Coal Handling Plant

A coal handling plant is essential to the coal-based thermal power plant.

Safety reasons:

  • Fire hazards: Coal is highly flammable and can catch fire easily, leading to catastrophic accidents. The coal handling plant ensures that the coal is stored safely and transported without mishaps.
  • Explosions: Coal dust is highly explosive and can cause massive explosions if improperly handled. The coal handling plant has measures to prevent the accumulation of coal dust and ensure safe handling.

Environmental reasons:

  • Pollution prevention: Coal is a significant source of air and water pollution. The coal handling plant helps reduce pollution by controlling the emission of dust and harmful gases during coal transportation and storage.
  • Waste management: The coal handling plant ensures the proper management of coal waste or coal refuse. The waste material generated during coal mining comprises various rocks, soil, and other materials, which can release harmful pollutants and contaminants into the environment. The coal handling plant manages this waste material to prevent long-term environmental damage.

Efficiency reasons:

  • Reduction in downtime: The coal handling plant helps in reducing the downtime of the power plant by ensuring a steady supply of coal to the power plant. Any interruption in the coal supply can result in the shutdown of the entire power plant, leading to substantial financial losses.
  • Increase in productivity: The coal handling plant plays a crucial role in increasing the power plant’s productivity. It ensures that the coal is transported and stored efficiently, reducing the time required for coal handling and increasing the overall productivity of the power plant.


The coal handling system plays a crucial role in the coal mining industry. Its significance can be seen from the safety, environmental, and efficiency reasons discussed above. The plant helps prevent fire hazards and explosions, thereby ensuring the safety of workers and reducing the risk of property damage.

It also promotes pollution prevention and waste management, ensuring the environment is not adversely affected. Lastly, the plant helps reduce downtime and increase productivity, making it a critical component in coal handling.

Therefore, ensuring that the coal handling plant is well-maintained and functioning correctly is essential. Any lapses in its maintenance or operation can lead to severe consequences regarding safety and productivity. By understanding the importance of the coal handling plant, we can take the necessary steps to ensure that it operates efficiently, thereby benefiting not only the coal mining industry but also the environment and the safety of workers.

What is the capacity of the Coal Handling Plant?

Coal handling plants are essential components of power generation plants that deal with coal, from its reception to transportation, preparation, and storage. However, a common question that arises in the mind of every individual associated with the coal-fired power generation sector is the capacity of the coal-handling plant. Understanding the ability of the coal handling plant is crucial in ensuring power plants’ smooth and efficient operation.

The capacity of the coal handling plant depends not only on the plant’s size but also on the type of equipment installed and the quality of coal being used. Lack of knowledge about the capacity of the coal handling plant can lead to operational issues, downtime, and, ultimately, a decrease in power generation capacity.

In this blog, we will discuss in detail the capacity of the coal handling plant and its significance in the power generation sector. Whether you are a plant operator, maintenance personnel, or a person associated with coal procurement, this blog will provide valuable insights into the capacity of the coal handling plant and its importance.

The Capacity of a Coal Handling Plant

The capacity of a Coal Handling Plant refers to the maximum amount of coal that the plant can process or handle within a specified period. It is essential to consider while designing or upgrading a coal handling plant.

Factors Affecting the Capacity of a Coal Handling Plant

Several factors can affect the capacity of a Coal Handling Plant. Some of the most common factors are:

  • Type of coal
  • Size of coal
  • Calorific value of coal
  • The moisture content of coal
  • Environmental conditions

The type and size of coal determine the amount of space required for storage, transportation, and processing. Moisture content affects the heating value of coal, and environmental conditions like temperature and humidity can impact the handling and processing of coal.

Calculation of the Capacity of a Coal Handling Plant

The capacity of a Coal Handling Plant can be calculated in two ways: 

  • Design capacity: The maximum capacity for which the plant was designed.
  • Actual capacity is the amount of coal the plant can handle in a given period.

Importance of knowing the capacity of a Coal Handling Plant

Knowing the capacity of a Coal Handling Plant is crucial for efficient operation and planning. It helps in the following:

  • Optimizing the plant’s performance and productivity.
  • Planning the transportation and storage of coal.
  • Estimating the amount of coal that can be processed in a specific period.
  • Designing the plant layout and equipment.

The capacity of Macawber Beekay

Macawber Beekay is a leading turnkey solution provider for pneumatic conveying systems and bulk solid material handling systems. Their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility can produce high-quality equipment meeting domestic and international quality standards.

Macawber Beekay offers customized solutions based on the specific needs of its clients, ensuring the highest level of efficiency, safety, and reliability. With a team of experienced professionals and advanced technology, Macawber Beekay has successfully executed numerous projects across various industries. You can trust Macawber Beekay to deliver a high-capacity, efficient, cost-effective coal handling plant tailored to your unique requirements.

Types of Coal Handling Plants

  • Small Coal Handling Plants: These plants are designed for handling coal at up to 50 tons per hour capacity. They are suitable for small industries, such as brick kilns and tea factories.
  • Medium Coal Handling Plants: These plants are designed for handling coal up to 500-1000 tons per hour capacity. They are suitable for medium industries, such as textile mills, cement factories, etc.
  • Large Coal Handling Plants: These plants are designed for handling coal of 1500-3500 tons per hour capacity. They are suitable for large industries like power plants, steel mills, etc.

Capacity Enhancement of a Coal Handling Plant

With the advancement of technology, various capacity enhancement techniques have been developed, which have proved beneficial for coal-handling plants. 

Here are some capacity enhancement techniques:

  • Addition of new equipment: Adding new equipment to the coal handling plant can increase its capacity.
  • Upgradation of existing equipment: Upgrading the existing equipment can also enhance the plant’s capacity, making it more efficient and productive.
  • Automation of the process: Automation of the coal handling process can also help in capacity enhancement.

Capacity enhancement of coal handling plants has several benefits, including:

  • Increased efficiency: Capacity enhancement can improve the efficiency of the coal handling plant, resulting in increased productivity and reduced operating costs.
  • Reduced downtime: With increased capacity, the plant can handle more coal, reducing downtime caused by overloading.
  • Cost savings: Capacity enhancement can help reduce the overall cost of coal handling, resulting in cost savings.

Maintenance of Coal Handling Plant for Optimum Capacity

Maintaining a coal handling plant is crucial for ensuring the plant’s optimum capacity and avoiding downtimes. Neglecting maintenance can lead to many problems, including reduced efficiency, increased downtime, and higher operating costs. 

Here are some maintenance techniques to ensure optimum capacity:

  • Regular cleaning and inspection of the plant’s components
  • Lubrication of moving parts to prevent wear and tear
  • Replacement of worn-out parts as needed

Poor maintenance can have a significant impact on the capacity of a coal-handling plant. 

For example, if the conveyor belts are not properly maintained, they may not function correctly, leading to delays in moving coal from one place to another. Similarly, if the crushers are not maintained, they may not work efficiently, leading to reduced output and higher energy costs.


The capacity of a Coal Handling Plant is a crucial factor that affects its efficiency and performance. Various factors like coal type, size, moisture content, and environmental conditions impact the capacity of a Coal Handling Plant. It is important to calculate and enhance the capacity of a Coal Handling Plant to achieve optimal performance.

Regular maintenance techniques like cleaning, lubrication, and replacing worn-out parts can help maintain the optimum capacity of a Coal Handling Plant. Overall, by understanding the capacity of a Coal Handling Plant and implementing appropriate maintenance and enhancement techniques, it is possible to improve its efficiency, reduce downtime, and achieve cost savings.


Waste to Energy: A Sustainable Solution to India’s Growing Waste Problem

India, like many other nations, is struggling with a serious waste management issue. Each year, the nation produces more than 62 million tonnes of solid waste, a number that is predicted to double by 2030. Inadequate waste management endangers the environment and jeopardizes public health. Waste to energy (WTE), however, is emerging as a workable solution to address the waste problem and produce renewable energy in the wake of rising sustainability awareness. In the WTE process, municipal solid waste (MSW) or biomass is burned to produce energy in the form of electricity or heat. The procedure entails sorting and separating the waste, then turning the organic material into a fuel source, like biogas, that is then used to power various devices.

The Indian government has taken several initiatives to promote WTE as a sustainable solution to the waste problem. The Swachh Bharat Mission, launched in 2014, aims to make India clean by eliminating open defecation and managing solid waste effectively. Under this mission, the government has allocated funds for the construction of WTE plants across the country. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has also launched a program to promote the use of renewable energy, including WTE.

Macawber Beekay: Helping Companies Reach Their Sustainability Goals

Macawber Beekay, a leading turnkey solution provider for power companies, is helping its customers reach their sustainability goals by offering solutions for WTE. The company provides customized solutions for the conversion of municipal waste into charcoal.  This type of plant is sometimes called a waste-to-coal, municipal waste conversion, carbon capture, or resource recovery plant.

Waste-to-coal is being increasingly looked at as an alternative to conventional coal which is a Fossil fuel. The biggest advantage is the utilization of Waste into the conversion of energy without depleting the carbon-loaded fossil fuel. Thus, saving natural resources and solving the eco-social issue by disposing of municipal waste.

Uses of Waste To Energy

The energy generated from WTE plants can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Electricity Generation: The energy generated from WTE plants can be used to generate electricity, which can be used for industrial, commercial, or residential purposes.
  • District Heating: The residual heat generated from WTE plants can be used for district heating, which is a sustainable solution for heating buildings.
  • Industrial Processes: The energy generated from WTE plants can be used for industrial processes, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and promoting sustainable practices.
  • Cooking: In many rural areas in India, biomass stoves are commonly used for cooking. The use of biomass as a fuel source for cooking reduces the reliance on fossil fuels and promotes sustainability. WTE can be used to generate biogas, which can be used as a fuel source for cooking.
  • Transportation: The energy generated from WTE can be used to power vehicles, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and promoting sustainability. For example, in Bangalore, a bus that runs on biogas generated from food waste was launched in 2016.
  • Agriculture: The residual ash generated from WTE can be used as a soil conditioner for increasing crop yield, and promoting sustainable agriculture practices. This not only reduces the need for chemical fertilizers but also helps in managing waste in a sustainable way.
  • Greenhouses: The residual heat generated from WTE plants can be used for heating greenhouses, promoting sustainable agriculture practices. For example, in Tamil Nadu, the residual heat from a WTE plant is being used to heat greenhouses for vegetable cultivation.
  • Water Heating: The residual heat generated from WTE plants can be used for water heating, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and promoting sustainability. For example, in Kerala, the residual heat from a WTE plant is being used to heat water for a community swimming pool. This approach helps in reducing the carbon footprint and provides an economical solution for water heating. It is a win-win situation for both the environment and the community.

These instances highlight the various applications of waste to energy, promoting sustainability in several economic sectors and providing an eco-friendly response to India’s expanding waste issue. Companies can gain from a variety of factors, such as cost savings, waste reduction, and renewable energy. With support and impetus given by the Indian government to advance WTE, firms like Macawber Beekay are judiciously assisting organizations in achieving their sustainability objectives.