New Delhi, Dec. 5: Amid reports of acute shortage of coal for thermals power plants in India leading to sub-optimal utilization of plant capacity the coal ministry of the country is trying hard to expedite the process of coal project clearance from environment ministry.
According to ministry of coal report, 176 Coal projects are awaiting Environment & forestry clearances at different levels. Ministry of coal has requested the concerned states and environment ministry to fast track the environment & forest clearances, land acquisition issues.
According to latest report of Geological Survey of India, country’s coal reserve as on April 1, 2011 has been estimated at 285.86 billion tonnes. Out of the total reserve, 33.47 billion tonnes falls in coking coal category and 252.40 billion tonnes in non-coking coal category.
So far government has allocated 195 Coal blocks to different public and private sector companies. Govt companies bagged 84 blocks with a coal reserve of about 22 billion tonnes and private companies have bagged 111 blocks with a reserve of 22.15 billion tonnes. These include 12 blocks for Ultra Mega Power Projects with 4.8 billion tonnes of coal reserve.
Although, country’s coal reserve is at satisfactory level but keeping the increasing demand for coal in mind Coal India Ltd (CIL), country’s largest coal mining company, is contemplating to acquire coal assets abroad.
Recently, CIL has won the prospecting license of two coal blocks in Mozambique, namely A1 and A2, covering an area of 22,400 hectares in Tete Province. A 100% wholly owned subsidiary of CIL namely, Coal India Africana Limitada, has been registered in Mozambique for investment in coal resources.
In year 2009 CIL had floated a global Expression of Interest to select strategic partner(s) in Australia, USA, South Africa and Indonesia to acquire stakes in coal companies.
To further improve the coal supply position in the country, Government of India has approved formation of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) International Coal Ventures Pvt Ltd., (ICVL) on May 20, 2009. It is JV between CIL,SAIL,RINL,NMDC and NTPC.
The purpose of ICVL has been approved to have an authorized capital of Rs 100 billion and an initial paid up capital of Rs 35 billion.