The government has received bids from 22 companies, including Jindal Steel and Power and Hindalco Industries, for the commercial extraction of coal from 18 thermal and coking coal mines.
A total of 35 bids (both online and offline) were received for 18 coal mines. In the seventh round of coal auctions 103 mines were put on offer, the coal ministry said on Wednesday. Of these 18 coal mines, nine are partially explored while the remaining mines are fully explored.
The cumulative peak rated capacity of the fully explored coal mines is 51.80 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).
Of these, 17 coal mines are non-coking coal mines while one mine is a coking coal mine.
The bidders — Jindal Steel and Power, NLC India, Bajrang Power and Ispat Limited, Gujarat Mineral and Development Corporation and Bull Mining — have bid for three blocks each.
Hindalco Industries Limited, NTPC Mining and Sunflag Iron and Steel Ltd have bid for two coal mines each in the seventh round.
The remaining 14, which include players such as Nalwa Steel and Power, Nuvoco Vistasand Odisha Coal and Power, have bid for one mine each.
Most of the mines have reserves of thermal coal used in power generation, while one has the variety used in the process of making steel.
The government wants private players to boost coal production in the country as power demand surges. State-run Coal India dominates coal mining in the country.
“The online bids were decrypted and opened electronically in the presence of the bidders. Subsequently, sealed envelopes containing offline bids were also opened. Entire process was displayed on screen for the bidders,” the ministry said.