Singareni ordered Simtars’ Camgas system – the first to be purchased by a coal mine in India – following two years of negotiation. Camgas is an ultra-fast micro gas chromatograph for analysing complex mixes of gas. Along with specialised software (Safegas and Segas) it determines the toxicity and explosive potential of gases in underground coal mines.
These systems enable mines to quickly detect the build-up of explosive gases and spontaneous combustion of coal providing an early warning system.
Six of the latest Camgas systems developed by Simtars were sold to China early last year, with another 10 on order.
Simtars had supplied a previous version of the system in 2001 to India's Directorate-General of Mine Safety, paid for by the Australian Government under an aid program. That system recently helped avert a potential mine disaster in India.
Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water principal scientific advisor for Simtars, Darren Brady, will travel to the SCCL site at Kothagudem in south India around May to install the system.
India is the third highest coal producing country in the world, putting out about 355 million tonnes in 2003-04.