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NTPC drill for coal mine buy

New Delhi, July 16: State-owned NTPC Ltd will appoint merchant bankers next month to offer advice on valuing the coal mines it plans to buy in Indonesia and Mozambique.

“We will appoint merchant bankers to do the due diligence for the coal mines in Indonesia and Mozambique that we have identified,” NTPC chairman and managing director R.S. Sharma said today.

The thermal power producer has identified two mining assets each in Indonesia and Mozambique. It needs 225 million tonnes (mt) of coal by 2012, but will get 195mt from Coal India and its subsidiaries. NTPC plans to produce 15mt captively and import 15mt.

“The mines will be acquired by the company and not by the consortium, International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL),” he said.

ICVL was formed by Steel Authority of India Ltd, NTPC, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, National Mineral Development Corporation and Coal India to acquire overseas coal blocks.

Kuljit Singh, energy analyst with Ernst & Young, said, “The demand-supply deficit in coal has been increasing with domestic production unable to keep pace with the demand. The deficit is being met through imports. Moreover, consumers prefer imported coal because of the lower ash content and higher calorific value.” Coal India Limited yesterday invited bids for partners to undertake mining activities abroad.

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