New Delhi: Country’s largest power generation firm, NTPC Ltd, is looking at acquiring coal blocks in Indonesia, Mozambique and South Africa to bridge the fuel supply shortfall from domestic sources.
“We have ambitious capacity addition targets and the priority for me is to secure fuel supplies,” NTPC’s new Chairman and Managing Director Ram Sharan Sharma said today.
It currently imports about 2 million tons of coal out of the total requirement of 110 million tons to fire its thermal power plants. The company is looking at coal mines abroad that can give upto 20 million tons of coal per annum.
“We are looking at coal mines in Indonesia, Mozambique and South Africa,” he said but did not give details.
The company needs about 5 million tons of coal for projects already planned and the balance would meet the fuel requirement of future projects. It has already floated a joint venture firm Coal Ventures International Ltd, with Steel Authority of India Ltd, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd, Coal India Ltd and National Mineral Development Corp to secure coal mines abroad.
The company’s competitors like Tata Power and Reliance Power have acquired Indonesian coal blocks.
Of the 29,144 MW generation capacity with NTPC, 18 are coal-fired plants with a cumulative capacity of 23,209 MW, while its remaining capacity operates on gas and liquid fuels like naphtha.
NTPC, he said, plans to add 22,430 MW of new electricity generation units during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), about 28.6 per cent of the over 78,000 MW generation capacity government plans to add during the period with the objective of providing ‘Power to all by the year 2012´.
Of this, 15,180 MW would be through coal-based power generation, 4,550 MW through gas-based generation and the balance from hydroelectric power.
Sharma said the power deficit in the country can only be met by creation of larger generation capacities in the country.
“Out of NTPC’s 11th Plan target, 1990 MW has already been commissioned. Construction work is in full swing for another 16,680 MW projects. Contracts for the balance projects would be awarded this year,” he said.
As part of its diversification, NTPC is now looking at EPC contracts in Middle East. It is also trying to secure a contract for sourcing 3 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Nigeria in lieu of setting up a 700 MW gas-based power plant and a 500 MW coal-based plant in the African nation, he said.
NTPC was also eyeing gas blocks equity stakes in Australia and Yemen. “Our aim is to set higher capacity addition targets and achieve them,” Sharma said. Sharma took charge as head of NTPC on May 1.
The company recently formed a 50:50 joint venture with state-run power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd to carry out Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for power plants and infrastructure projects as well as manufacture and supply equipment in India and abroad.