NTPC close to award­ing $4b coal mine con­tract

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

DELHI: NTPC Ltd., In­dia's largest power-gen­er­a­tion com­pany, is close to award­ing a con­tract worth $4 bil­lion for start­ing its first coal mine in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to three peo­ple with knowl­edge of the de­ci­sion.

An auc­tion to choose an op­er­a­tor for the Pakri Bar­wadih mine in the eastern state of Jhark­hand has con­cluded and a de­ci­sion will be taken at a board meet­ing this week, said the peo­ple. A ven­ture of Thriveni Earth­movers Pvt. and Sainik Min­ing won the auc­tion, quot­ing Rs.26,000 crore ($4 bil­lion) for de­vel­op­ing and run­ning the mine over 25 years, they said. Hav­ing its own sup­ply will help the state-run util­ity save on more ex­pen­sive im­ports of coal, the fuel that fires 75% of its 45 gi­gawatt ca­pac­ity. Since NTPC has to pass on the ben­e­fits of lower fuel costs to cus­tomers, the move may boost sales to state elec­tric­ity re­tail­ers that have been cut­ting back on pur­chases be­cause of a lack of funds.

Salem, In­dia-based Thriveni and New Delhi-based con­sor­tium part­ner Sainik Min­ing bid the low­est in the elec­tronic auc­tion, Thriveni Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor B. Karthikeyan said, with­out giv­ing fur­ther de­tails. Sainik Min­ing Di­rec­tor R.S. Sindhu didn't pro­vide a com­ment af­ter three re­quests by phone to his of­fice. NTPC de­clined to com­ment. Pro­duc­tion from Pakri Bar­wadih should be­gin early in the year start­ing 1 April, two of the peo­ple said. The Pakri Bar­wadih mine is ex­pected to yield NTPC about 310 mil­lion met­ric tonnes of coal over 25 years.

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