Brisbane: Indian state-run power producer NTPC Ltd is looking to invest in either Indonesian or Australian coal mines as early as next year as part of efforts to secure long-term supplies, a company official said on 14 August.
NTPC, which produces 27% of India’s total electricity generation, plans to almost double its generating capacity to 50,000 megawatts by 2012 from the current 27,400 megawatts.
“We have plans to acquire equity stakes in coal mines in Indonesia or Australia in the next one or two years,” N.Shekhar, senior manager of NTPC’s fuel management department, said on the sidelines of a Coaltrans conference in Brisbane.
“This is part of a long term measure to ensure fuel security for our coal based stations.” NTPC currently buys most of its coal from Indonesia, Shekhar said.
NTPC’s plans come after a $1.3 billion (Rs5,288 crore) deal in April by India’s Tata Power Co. to buy stakes in two Indonesian mines -- highlighting growing concerns among Asian utilities over the security of long-term coal supplies.
State-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) has also said it plans to buy a 10% stake in an Australian coal mine.
NTPC’s coal consumption is expected to surge to between 185-200 million tonne a year by 2017, up from about 112 million tonnes, Shekhar said during a presentation.
Shekhar said NTPC has already begun to mine for coal in India and expects thermal coal production to reach about 15 million tonnes a year by 2012.