The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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NTPC set to bag six coal mines

New Delhi, Nov 8: National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is likely to bag six coal mines that it intends to develop with private players to meet its feedstock needs.

The coal ministry has agreed to reopen negotiations with NTPC to give it six mines identified by the coal-linkage committee — two in Bihar and one each in Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Coal and mines secretary P. K. Mishra today invited NTPC chairman and managing director C. P. Jain to renegotiate the proposal for the award of the mines.

The ministry had rejected an earlier proposal sent by the state-owned firm on the issue of revenue share.

“The coal ministry has agreed to resume talks with NTPC, which will lease out the mines to private companies for development on a build-operate-and-own basis.

“Earlier, the price demanded by Coal India was not acceptable to NTPC. The power ministry had raised a few queries about the viability of projects in some of the six mines,” sources in power ministry said.

However, there is hope of a deal this time with the department of coal ready to renegotiate the terms. “This is a major breakthrough for six power projects planned by NTPC. They will now get the necessary coal linkages. This will have an impact on the price of electricity produced from these projects,” the sources added.

NTPC plans to float international bids inviting private companies to develop these six mines, but it will be their only buyer. There is also a proposal that requires NTPC to pick up equity in the coal mines, once necessary approvals are granted by the government.

The mines will help fire NTPC’s 1980 megawatt power project in Barh and 1300 mw project in Khaelgaon (both in Bihar), two 1980 mw units in North Karanpura (Jharkhand) and Sipat (Chattisgarh). Other plants that could benefit are the 2000 mw project in Talcher (Orissa) and 1000 mw project in Vindhyachal (Madhya Pradesh).

“It is a major project, and once completed, will generate 10,240 megawatts. This power can be wheeled to the power-starved northern regions or sold to Power Trading Corporation,” said a senior official in the power ministry.

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