State-run coal behemoth and world’s largest coal miner, Coal India Ltd is likely to import 15 million tonne of coal for power utilities as part of meeting the fuel supply agreement commitment.

Thermal power plants across the country are running on critical coal stocks as coal mining has been a victim of slowdown. However, imported coal leads to an increase in production cost of per unit of electricity, a burden which the financially distressed state electricity boards are not willing to undertake.

Nearly 60 power producing companies, a majority of which are private power producing companies have evinced interest in importing coal to keep their plants running.

“We have received interest for 15 million tonnes from IPPs (independent power producers) and state-owned entities,” CIL Director (Marketing) B K Saxena told shareholders at the company’s AGM in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Later speaking to reporters, he said some 55-60 companies that include mostly private power producers, Damodar Valley Corporation and state generation companies, have shown interest to import coal on behalf of them. “We propose to supply the imported coal to them from 2014-15 financial year,” Saxena said.

However, India’s largest power producer, NTPC has not sought any import assistance from CIL and instead has drawn its own import plan.

CIL will float tenders to select a canalizing agency to import coal, Saxena added.

`2,295 cr for new mining projects

 Meanwhile, CIL has sanctioned `2,294.79 crore for four new mining projects with an estimated capacity of 12.5 million tonnes.

The miner has identified a total of 126 projects with an estimated capacity of 438.04 million tonnes to be taken up during the 12th Plan period.

“Of the 126 projects, project reports of 78 have already been formulated,” CIL Chairman and Managing Director S Narsing Rao said at the AGM.

“Of these, 60 are envisaged to contribute about 88 MT during the terminal year of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2016-17),” he said.

Rao also said a sum of Rs 2,294.79 crore has been sanctioned for four new mining projects with an estimated capacity of 12.5 million tonnes.

CIL had proposed a capital outlay of Rs 25,400 crore in the 12th Plan period in addition to an ad-hoc provision of `35,000 crore to acquire coal assets abroad and develop the acquired coal blocks in Mozambique. (With agency inputs)

Courtesy: The New Indian Express