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POWER MINISTRY MULLS FUND TO FINANCE HYDRO PROJECTS

egNEW DELHI: The power ministry plans to create a fund to provide long-term finances to hydropower developers, and aims to play an active role in resolving state level sues that are blocking such projects.

 

“Hydropower did not get the desired attention as concerned ministries and departments were working in silos, and problems with states and central authorities could be resolved.

 

However, the new government is working in tandem as a team and we are hopeful to resolve pending issues to give conducive environment to hydropower sector,” power, coal and renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.

 

He said one of his first projects Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated was the 240 MW Uri-II project, demonstrating his government’s commitment towards hydropower.

 

Modi is expected to inaugurate one more hydroelectric project at Ladakh next week. India has a potential to build 1,48,000 MW of hydropower generation capacity. However, India could add only 5,400 MW of capacity during 11th Five Year Plan against its target to commission 16,500 MW of projects, partly due to procedural hurdles and partly because of faulty planning.

 

India has around 36,000 MW of installed hydropower capacity. About 13,000 mw of additional capacity is under construction. At a conference on hydropower organized by FICCI, Goyal said India can surpass its target of generating 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 by promoting hydropower.

 

He said that in line with budget’s promise to offer longer term finance to infrastructure projects, ministry of power plans to set up a fund or set up a body to finance to hydropower projects.

 

Goyal promised support for private investment in hydropower but told developers that his ministry will not push Power Finance Corporation or Rural Electricity Corporation to finance specific projects.

 

“It is the job of investors to determine the economic viability of the project and convince the lenders,” said Goyal. Goyal said he hoped differences between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam would be resolved to put 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydro Power Project on track.

 

Next month, he will meet a delegation from Assam to discuss their concerns as the cost of the delayed project is going up significantly.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 6, 2014)

 

CENTRE MUST WORK IN TANDEM WITH STATES IN HYDROPOWER: PWC

 

MUMBAI: In order to achieve hydropower generation capacity target, the Centre needs to work in collaboration with other Ministries, departments and State Governments, consultancy firm PwC has said.

 

According to a PwC report titled ‘Hydropower in India – Key enablers for a better tomorrow’, the sector is facing several challenges, including financing, inadequate enabling infrastructure and regulatory hurdles.

 

“Ministries, departments and State Governments need to work together collaboratively and efficiently, in a co-ordinated way, to achieve policy goals and capacity addition targets. Alignment of processes, structures and institutional framework is necessary to achieve this,” it said. The report said a large number of hydropower projects with common river systems between adjoining states are held up due to a lack of inter-state agreements and disputes on water- sharing.

 

“Government needs to ensure that inter-state agreements for water-sharing must be in place to avoid disputes. A National River Authority of India may be constituted to improve river management, address inter-state disputes and for integrated river basin development,” it said.

 

To achieve the target, the Central government also needs to consider making it mandatory for power distribution utilities to purchase a fixed amount of hydropower, PwC said.

 

“Such hydropower purchase obligations provide assurance to developers by guaranteeing the purchase of electricity and make projects much more bankable.”

 

Favourable tax treatment, especially at the early stage of projects, will reduce project cost and help secure cheaper financing, the consultant said. The report suggested that capital markets need to be deepened to help provide long-term debt financing for the capital-intensive nature and high gestation periods of hydropower projects.

 

“Initiatives such as India Infrastructure Finance Company have been taken. The Government needs to encourage suitable innovative products like tax-exempt bonds focussed on the hydropower sector.

 

“Multi-lateral institutions and green funds have in recent times shown some appetite to fund both public and private sector hydropower investments and can be a good source for investors if a sound business case and risk mitigation mechanism can be demonstrated,” the report said.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 6, 2014)

 

PM TO LAUNCH HYDEL POWER PROJECTS IN LEH, KARGIL

 

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will soon dedicate to the nation two hydel power projects in Leh and Kargil, Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal said on Tuesday.

 

The Prime Minister would also lay foundation stone for the first power transmission line from Leh to Kargil and Kargil to Srinagar, he said.

 

‘I am delighted to inform you that probably next week or the week there after he (Modi) will be visiting Leh, Ladakh to not only dedicate to the nation two hydel projects…but also to lay the foundation stone for the first evacuation transmission line coming from Leh to Kargil, Kargil to Srinagar,’ Goyal said on the sidelines of a conference organised by industry body Ficci.

 

Goyal said it would be a ‘pathbreaking transmission line’. On the 2,000 MW Subansiri hydel project, where work has been stalled for a long time, Goyal said the government would soon hold discussions with stakeholders to address the issues.

 

Located in Assam, it is facing stiff local opposition amid various concerns including those related to environment.

 

‘In that same spirit we will soon be having discussions with all the stake holders for Subansiri…which has been stuck for a long time. I think dialogue is always the way forward and I am looking for that dialogue to sort out this Subansiri issue at the earliest,’ Goyal said.

 

According to him, the government is likely to hold discussions with people from Assam next month.

 

Modi had last month inaugurated the 240-MW Uri-II Hydro Electric Project (HEP) located near the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla district of Kashmir.

(Source: Millennium Post, August 6, 2014)

 

ASSAM TO PROVIDE SECURITY FOR EARLY COMPLETION OF POWER PROJECTS

 

GUWAHATI: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today reviewed the power scenario of the state with power minister Pradyut Bordoloi and asked the home department to ensure security at ongoing power project sites.

 

With demand of power shooting up steadily, Assam is battling severe power shortage of late. The peak hour demand of power in Assam is around 1250-1300 MW. The 750 MW Bongaigaon thermal power plant now being revived by NTPC also figured in the discussion. The Rs 4,750-crore project is power generator NTPC Ltd’s maiden North-Eastern venture. As the progress of the project has been severely hit by a host of issues including frequent bandhs, mass exodus of workforce, heavy monsoon and slow progress of civil works by contractors, Gogoi has asked MGVK Bhanu, principal secretary of home department, to visit the project site and to ensure full remobilization of agencies, including security.

 

The Chief Minister underscored the need to improve the power scenario by completing the several projects under various stages of progress. The meeting also discussed the modernisation of Lakwa thermal power project to make it more viable and cost-effective. It also took up the 150 MW Lower Kopili hydro project and the acquisition of around 100 acres of land involving Rs 84 crore for phase-wise construction of the project.

 

Besides, the state government has also taken up the 6-MW Lungnit and 9-MW Myntriang small hydel projects. Gogoi said the power department should not bank heavily on state’s sustenance but to generate revenue on its own.

(Source: Business Standard, August 6, 2014)

 

 

CCI REJECTS ‘DOMINANT POSITION ABUSE’ CHARGE AGAINST NTPC

 

NEW DELHI: The Competition Commission has rejected allegations that power major NTPC abused its dominant position in the market with respect to purchase or sale of services of a mine developer and operator.

 

A complaint was filed with the fair trade regulator in respect of certain ‘Invitation for Bids (IFBs)’ issued by NTPC for development and operation of ‘Kerendari-A Coal Block’ at Hazaribagh in Jharkhand.

 

The complaint was made by Thriveni Earthmovers Pvt Ltd, a company engaged in development and operation of mines.

 

Thriveni had alleged that the country’s leading power producer is ‘abusing its dominant position by unfairly and discriminatory changing the conditions’ in the IFBs ‘and imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions, thereby ousting the potential competitor from the market and is risking the competition to a great extent’.

 

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in an order released on Tuesday has rejected the complaint after it found ‘no case of contravention of the provisions of…the (Competition) Act’ against NTPC.

 

According to Thriveni, NTPC had changed the qualifying requirements for tenders whereby the eligibility for MDOs had been restricted to experience in developing and operating coal/lignite mines as against experience in developing and operating coal, lignite, iron ore and bauxite mines.

 

‘The commission is of considered opinion that such change in the stipulated conditions whereby a procurer is restricting the zone of consideration to MDOs who have experience in developing and operating coal/lignite mines only cannot be termed as unfair or discriminatory,’ CCI said.

 

Further, CCI noted that NTPC did not have the dominant presence in having coal mines and as such the firm being a dominant procurer of MDO services in India in respect of coal mines, ‘does not arise’.

 

It also said that NTPC cannot be a dominant procurer for MDO services in India in respect of lignite, iron ore and bauxite as it does not deal with these for its operations.

(Source: Millennium Post, August 6, 2014)

 

NTPC TO SELL ADDITIONAL 75 MW POWER TO ASSAM

 

GUWAHATI: State run power producer NTPC today said it has inked an agreement with Assam Power Distribution Company for selling 75 MW of electricity to the state.

 

“NTPC Ltd signed supplementary power purchase agreement with Assam Power Distribution Company Ltd (APDCL) for supply of 75 MW power,” the New Delhi-based power major said in a statement.

 

The power will be supplied to Assam from NTPC’s Farakka Super Thermal Power Station Stage-III, it added.

 

The release, however, did not mention the financial implication of this sale.

 

At present, APDCL is allocated 190 MW power from unallocated capacity of NTPC stations Farakka Stage-I, II and III, Kahalgaon Stage-I and II and Talcher Stage-I.

 

APDCL will also be provided with 381 MW from the under- construction Bongaigaon Thermal Power Project of NTPC.

 

The agreement was signed by NTPC Additional General Manager (Commercial) S K Kar and APDCL Chief General Manager (Commercial) A Baishya, the release said.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 6, 2014)

 

PARTNERING PRIVATE COMPANIES CAN MAKE NTPC MORE EFFICIENT: EXPERTS

 

NEW DELHI: An advisory panel has recommended public-private participation, acquisitions and more research as measures to make the country’s largest power producer NTPC efficient. The panel, headed by former power minister Suresh Prabhu, has said NTPC should explore electricity distribution through JVs to improve the power sector’s financial health. The suggestions were made at the panel’s first meeting, which was held recently.

 

Shortage of fuel is one of the biggest challenges before the public sector power producer, the panel for integrated development of power, coal and renewable energy said, adding that NTPC could resolve this problem by developing rail connectivity to coal blocks through JVs. According to the panel, NTPC, which operates 43,000 MW of generation capacity, has been allotted coal blocks with annual cumulative capacity of over 90 million tonne since 2004, but the power producer has failed to commence production due to external and internal factors.

 

“The members on the advisory panel suggested that NTPC phase out old and inefficient plants that are consuming excessive fuels. They opined that revival of electricity distribution is critical for the power sector and that NTPC should consider forming JVs with state-run distribution firms to offer its management and technical skills,” said a power ministry official, requesting anonymity.

 

He added that NTPC’s management had expressed concern over new tariff norms which are taking a toll on the company’s profitability.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 6, 2014)

 

 

JINDAL, AGARWAL FLOAT NEW POWER BODY TO AIR WOES

 

NEW DELHI: Private power firms, which put up a united front to combat fuel scarcity, policy uncertainty and procedural hurdles, are now a divided lot with some corporate leaders such as Naveen Jindal and Anil Agarwal breaking away from the Association of Power Producers which has many prominent members such as Anil Ambani’s Reliance Power and Tata Power.

 

The association had taken the lead in persuading the government to act after investment worth thousands of crores of rupees was at risk due to a vast range of problems facing the sector.

 

But now, Jindal-led Jindal Steel & Power Ltd, Agarwal’s Sterlite Industries and Sandeep Jajodiaowned Monnet Ispat and others have floated a new association known as the Domestic Coal Based Power Producers Association and are withdrawing from the Association of Power Producers. The new association alleged that APP was not adequately addressing their concerns and was catering to the needs of a few big groups like Tata Power and Reliance Power.

 

Industry sources said there have been occasional disagreements within APP but the association’s reluctance to take up some captive coal related issues with the government irked a few firms that decided to break away. “The compa

 

nies had asked APP to intervene when the government barred captive coal companies from selling power in spot market. The companies were of the view that the government cannot make retrospective amendments but APP cited the Supreme Court order saying coal is a scarce natural resource,” an industry insider said. The companies also alleged issues suggested by them were not raised during APP’s meeting with power and coal minister Piyush Goyal in June.

 

The new association has members with interests in captive coal and steel sectors such as Shyam Jindal’s Jindal India Thermal Power, Dainik Bhaskar Group’s DB Power, Gautam Thapar’s Avantha Power and Adhunik Power. The group is in the process of getting registered with the Registrar of Associations. “We felt the need for a separate group as woes of domestic coal-based power producers are not getting addressed adequately,” said a member of the new group.

 

Association of Power Producers director general Ashok Khurana said he was not aware of the new association. “However, looking at the crisis-like situation in the power sector, we need all the support.

 

There is so much to do — more the merrier — best of luck to them,” he said. The members of the new group have made presentations to power secretary PK Sinha and coal secretary SK Srivastava with demands like resolution of issues related to captive coal blocks.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 6, 2014)

 

JINDAL STEEL AND POWER BUYS MINE IN CAMEROON

 

NEW DELHI: Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) on Tuesday bought 100% stake in Australian mining and exploration company Legend Mining’s iron ore project in Cameroon for AUD 17.5 million (R100 crore).

 

The acquisition of Ngovayang project, located in south-western region of the West African country, is aimed at securing raw material for JSPL’s recently commissioned two million tonne per annum (mtpa) steel plant in Oman.

 

JSPL has already paid AUD 6 million in the first tranche of the deal and will pay another AUD 6 million in July next year.

 

The last tranche of AUD 5.5 million would be paid after execution of a mining convention between JSPL and the Cameroon government, Legend said in a filing to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

 

The Cameroon project covers around 2,970 square km area comprising three exploration permits. Legend had carried out an extensive aeromagnetic survey in February 2010.

 

‘‘Legend is now in a strong position financially to pursue exploration activity in its wholly-owned Fraser Range tenements and new project opportunities. We now have cash and liquids of more than AUD 15 million…,’’ said Legend’s MD Mark Wilson.

 

When contacted, a JSPL spokesperson said: ‘‘ We don’t have any comment on Cameroon deal yet.’’

 

Legend had in November last year announced that it had entered into a share sale and debt assignment agreement (SSDAA) with a wholly-owned subsidiary of JSPL for the sale of Legend’s 90% interest in Camina SA, the holding firm of Ngovayang project in Cameroon.

 

‘‘Under the SSDAA, Jindal will acquire 100% of the shares of Legend Iron Ltd and the inter-company loans provided by Legend to Camina, for a total cash of AUD 17.5 million,’’ it said.

 

Apart from Oman, JSPL has a 3 mtpa steel-making plant at Raigarh in Chhattisgarh and a 2 mtpa facility at Angul in Odisha. It generally requires 1.6 million tonne of iron ore to produce one million tonnes of steel.

 

The Oman facility buys the raw material from the open market to run the plant. Operating a plant with raw material purchased from the market leaves a company vulnerable to price vagaries, which can impede growth and affect profitability.

(Source: The Financial Express, August 6, 2014)

 

 

GOVERNMENT TRYING TO ADDRESS ISSUES IN RENEWABLE ENERGY SECTOR: PIYUSH GOYAL

 

NEW DELHI: The government is trying to address issues in the renewable energy sector by balancing all interests and ensuring that consumers get power at an affordable price, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said today.

 

The Minister of State for Power, Coal and New and Renewable Energy also said that the country’s energy security concerns need to be addressed.

 

“There have been concerns about renewable power obligations not being met or not being enforced. There are concerns about domestic manufacturing not being able to scale up… We are trying to address these various issues,” Goyal said at a conference here.

 

According to him, the government is trying to balance all interests ensuring finally that consumer gets quality power at affordable price.

 

The renewable energy sector is grappling with various issues. These include non-compliance by entities in following the renewable purchase obligations in the power sector.

 

Various efforts are underway to boost the domestic renewable energy sector.

 

“It is adjoined upon our nation to look at renewables more seriously to see if we can expand more rapidly… I hope that within the five-year term of this government, we will put India right on top of the world map of renewable energy,” the minister said.

 

Currently, India has an installed renewable power generation capacity of more than 31,600 MW.

 

Speaking at a conclave on renewable energy, Goyal asserted that there would be no budget restriction on research and development activities.

 

“I have said that any amount of people who need to go and study abroad, do some joint research abroad and get ideas for improving our labs, absolutely there will be no restriction.

 

“I will personally approve any travel that you want to organise for scientists… to learn from ideas internationally,” he added.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 6, 2014)

 

ABB INDIA WORKING ON REMOTE MONITORING OF SOLAR POWER PLANTS

 

AHMEDABAD: Upbeat about the future prospects of the solar power sector, power and automation technologies maker ABB India Ltd is working on technology for remote monitoring of solar power plants in order to optimize output of electricity. The company is in talks with various players in the solar power sector and trying to understand their requirements.

 

The company’s solar division that makes inverters, switch gears and provides operation and maintenance solutions for solar power units plans to focus on emerging roof-top solar power generation market as it sees big potential in it in the coming years.

 

The engineering major also wants to cash in on its recently launched solar pump drives which have been re-engineered for India to meet requirements of uninterrupted and reliable power supply for the rural market and agricultural sector. With the union government allocating Rs 400 crore for such solar pumps in the budget, the company sees a scope of 25 per cent rise in sales in 2014-15. With over 300 sunny days a year, the solar pump drives could help farmers maximise the benefits of solar power, while reducing dependency on the conventional grid power.

 

“We are a company with a long term perspective in renewable energy sector especially solar and wind power. We want to grow in this sector by building on our key competencies power and automation technologies,” said A H Kawdikar, vice president, country head (solar).

 

“In solar sector we have taken number of initiatives one of them is how to make the inverter more grid interactive. The other one is how to remotely monitor the solar power plants. As these plants are remotely located, an expert cannot remain present at the site every day. So we are talking to existing solar power plant operators in Gujarat and having discussion on their requirements for remote monitoring of the plant,” Kawdikar said. This, he said, was to optimise the output of power from the unit.

 

Another area where the company is focusing is the roof-top solar power systems. After the success of the project in Gandhinagar, many states are encouraging such initiatives, Kawdikar said.

 

“We have suppled solar inverters to Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and also Delhi for generation of roof-top solar power. The reasons for the good response is the policy support by the centre as well as the state. Also, with people seeing opportunity to cut down on their grip power usage the roof-top solar power generation is a good option,” he added.

 

The company is also providing electrical side support for the 10 Mw canal top solar power project in Vadodara. The project is being implemented on main canal of the Sardar Sarovar Irrigation project.

 

The solar pump drives launched by the company is also likely to make life easy for the farmers using diesel-run motors for pumping out underground water to irrigate their farms. “We sold about 2,000 solar pump drives last year and this year we plan to sell another 2,500 of them,” Kawdikar said.

 

According to Kawdikar the first half of 2014-15 was slow for the company as decisions on orders were delayed or deferred for one reason or the other. “But for the second half we are optimistic and see significant growth during this period. Our order book was for equipment of 100 Mw capacity. We expect another 200 Mw business in the second half,” he explained.

(Source: Business Standard, August 6, 2014)

 

FIRST SOLAR TO SET UP SOLAR PROJECT IN TELANGANA

 

HYDERABAD: US-based First Solar Inc (FSLR), a thin film solar module manufacturer and developer of solar projects worldwide, plans to build a 45-Mw capacity solar power generation project in the new state of Telangana through its Indian subsidiary.

 

First Solar India country head, Sujoy Ghosh, said this would be the company’s first project in India. Globally, it currently has project pipeline of more than 2,500-Mw.

 

Ghosh told Business Standard Telangana was chosen to set up the project as “solar radiation is very good” in the state. He, however, said he would not be able to disclose the cost of the project at this juncture. The project includes construction at two different sites in Mahabubnagar district and is expected to commence commercial operation by May 2015.

 

It will supply electricity through the grid to the Southern Power Distribution Company of Telangana State Limited (TSSPDCL) at a tariff of Rs 6.49 a unit for a period of 20 years. The power purchase agreement was signed in June.

 

“The state of Telangana has an energy deficit that demands immediate creation of incremental generation capacity. The excellent solar resource in the state combined with our CdTe thin film module technology that is ideally suited for hot climates like India, allows us to bid tariffs that brings solar energy pricing to parity with diesel/gas and potentially imported coal, for the consumers across all segments,” Ghosh stated.

 

He said construction of the project was expected to begin by October, this year. On completion, the project would produce electricity, which would be sufficient to meet the needs of over 92,000 average homes in Telangana.

(Source: Business Standard, August 6, 2014)

 

 

PIYUSH GOYAL ASKS CIL FOR ACTION PLAN TO AUGMENT OUTPUT BY 150 MILLION TONNES

 

NEW DELHI: Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal has directed state-owned CIL and its subsidiaries to submit an immediate action plan to augment their output by 150 million tonnes (MT) within a year.

 

“Minister of State for Coal…directed CIL and its subsidiaries to submit an immediate action plan for enhancement of coal production by 150 million tonnes within one year .i.e June 2015,” an official source said.

 

The minister assured all support to Coal India Ltd (CIL) in this regard. He also asked coal companies to draw the demand-supply graphs of coal after taking realistic inputs from the Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

 

The Minister has asked coal companies to evolve a mechanism for augmentation of production and the requisite quantity and quality to be supplied to the power stations, which has already been set up, the source said.

 

Coal India’s mine planning & consultancy company CMPDIL is of the view that the addition of 150 MT coal production in one year would require additional evacuation facilities.

 

State-owned CIL, which accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal production, achieved an output of 33.1 MT in July, missing its target of 35.80 MT. CIL had missed its output target of 482 million tonnes for 2013-14, producing 462 million tonnes during the period.

 

Production fell short of target because of various reasons, including lack of environment clearance to coal mining projects. In 2012-13, the company produced 452.5 million tonnes of coal, falling short of the 464 MT target.

 

Coal India’s production target for 2014-15 has been set at 507 MT, while the offtake target is 520 MT.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 6, 2014)

 

VILLAGERS HAIL ORDER BANNING COAL MINING IN MEGHALAYA

 

MEGHALAYA: Villagers living downstream of Myntdu river along the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district have welcomed the National Green Tribunal order banning coal mining in the entire state.

 

These villagers, whose primary source of livelihood is fishing in the rivers, had to abandon their centuries-old practice 30 years ago when river water became too polluted to support life forms due to rampant unscientific rat-hole coal mining upstream of the river.

 

The National Green Tribunal on August 2, 2014 upheld its April 17, 2013 interim order banning coal mining in the state after observing that the right to life was far more significant than economic interest of a state or an individual.

 

“Article 21 of the Constitution of India gives prominence to the right to life than any other interest including economic interest of the State or the individuals,” a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar had said.

 

The Myntdu river and other rivers became too polluted for fish to survive because of the “mine run-off” and acid effluents flowing down from the rat-hole coal pits upstream, the Meghalaya Pollution Control Board had said in a report compiled after conducting extensive tests in 2008.

 

The board had conducted the tests in two rivers – Lukha and Lunar.

 

Soon after, the Delhi-based Central Laboratory of Central Pollution Control Board also endorsed the acidic nature of the river water which was unsuitable for life forms to survive and unfit for human consumption.

 

Fishing in the river had provided the villagers their primarily means of income, farming being an alternative source, from time immemorial.

 

The other villages downstream of coal mining areas – Borkhat, Natbor, Kwator, Dem Lakang, Pdengwah khynriam, Pasadwar, Lumpyngngad, Kamsing, Jalia Khala and Sangkhat – also shared the same situation.

 

When this journalist visited the villages to hear the reaction to the NGT order, everybody welcomed the verdict.

 

“Give us back our rivers in their pristine glory. We want a river where we can bathe and wash our linen, we want it to be filled with fish so that we may live peacefully,” the headman of Kharkhana village, Pyrman Shylla, said.

 

Earlier, fish of every shape and size ranging from fingerlings to cat fish as big as a boat were caught everyday, Kip Amtra, a former headman, said.

 

The elders of the village said that it all started in the summer of 1984 when the brown water laced with poison killed thousands of fishes big and small along the whole stretch of the river and the village stank as tens of thousands of abandoned corpses were left to decay.

 

“Pollution of the water is proved by the colour of the water which in most of the rivers and streams in the mining area varies from brownish to reddish orange,” a study by Sumarlin Swer and O P Singh of the Centre for Environmental Studies, North-Eastern Hill University here said.

(Source: The Economic Times, August 6, 2014)

 

 

SAIL HAS NEW COAL MINES IN ITS KITTY

 

NEW DELHI: Public sector behemoth Steel Authority of India (SAIL) has emerged on a stronger footing with the landmark acquisition of large coal mines in Mozambique which will provide an assured supply of raw material at affordable cost to the Indian steel maker.

 

The acquisition by International Coal Ventures Pvt. Ltd led by SAIL finalised the takeover of Rio Tinto’s operating coal mine and coal assets in Mozambique last week.

 

“ The Mozambique acquisition by ICVL is a significant and historic development towards assuring long- term coking coal security as Indian steel companies need higher input of raw material to fuel their growth,’’ SAIL and ICVL Chairman CS Verma said.

 

Mozambique has the geographical advantage of being in the proximity of India. This acquisition gives the steel companies under the Ministry of Steel a strong foothold in this sought- after coal basin,” he added.

 

These coal mines and assets were acquired by Rio Tinto from Riversdale Mining Ltd. in 2011. Since then, the coal mine at Benga has been brought to production. The mine produces prime hard coking coal.

 

The coal resource, which contains both coking coal and thermal coal, will become a long term captive source of a critical raw material in steel making in geographical proximity to India.

 

The coal mine and assets are located strategically in the prime coking coal bearing region of the Moatize Coal Basin which is stated to be the second largest coal basin in the world after the Bowen Basin in Australia.

 

The operating coal mine comes with a state of the art wash plant and surface infrastructure with a potential to expand raw coal production from the current 5 million tonne per annum ( mtpa) to 12 mtpa.

 

Steel Authority of India Ltd is the largest producer of steel in India and the second largest producer of iron ore in the country owning and operating nine iron ore mines, four limestone mines, three dolomite mines and four coal mines for captive consumption.

 

On the domestic front SAIL has a Rs 10,000 crore warchest to modernise and expand operating iron ore mines and develop new mines.

 

New iron ore areas in the states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, MP, Maharashtra, Odisha and Karnataka are also being explored. With its experience in iron ore mining, mine planning, beneficiation and project execution, SAIL is capable of undertaking exploration and exploitation of mineral deposits.

 

SAIL has over five decades experience in operation of iron ore, limestone, dolomite and coal mines. The total annual production from these mines is to the tune of about 28 million tonnes during 2013- 14.

(Source: Mail Today, August 6, 2014)

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