India’s biggest underground coal mine will begin operations in October expecting to generate 2.8 million tonnes of the fossil fuel per year, state-owned Singareni Collieries said on Monday.

The company, which is India’s second-largest coal producer, also said the opening of the mine should help it edge past its output target for this fiscal year, Press Trust of India reports.

Low levels of supply

Most of the nation’s power plants with critical stocks are suffering from low levels of supply from Coal India (CIL), the country’s and the world’s largest coal producer, which is struggling to increase output as rains slowed activity in some of its mines.

The firm fell short of its production target of 183.9 million tonnes for April-August by 8 million tonnes. It now fears that may not be able to meet its commitment of supplying 408 million tonnes to power firms this fiscal year.

Third-largest producer

India’s coal output hit 565 million tonnes in the fiscal year to March, making it the world’s third-largest producer of the fossil fuel, behind China and the U.S.

Yet it relies heavily on imports because of mismanagement and an onerous bureaucracy in coal exploration, production and power generation. As a result, nearly a quarter of India’s 1.2 billion people have no electricity, according to the World Bank.

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