New Delhi: International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL) has approached the steel ministry with a proposal to restructure itself as NTPC and CIL are no longer willing to stay put in the special purpose vehicle (SPV) as promoters.

Government sources said the proposal would be taken up soon for consideration and if the “inevitable" happens SAIL, RINL and NMDC, three firms under steel ministry, would share among themselves NTPC’s and CIL’s combined 42% stake in ICVL.

ICVL was set up in 2009 for acquiring coal mines abroad with an initial authorized capital of about 10,000 crore. SAIL and CIL each hold 28% stake in the venture while RINL, NMDC and NTPC have 14% each.

“The steel ministry has been requested for restructuring ICVL in view of CIL and NTPC not evincing interest in the company as promoters," the source said.

Justifying the “inevitability" of restructuring, he said after showing initial interests, NTPC and CIL grew an apathy on their continuing as promoters as their interests were in direct contrast to that of ICVL, which is more keen on buying coking coal assets used for steel making.

“NTPC and CIL have already expressed their reluctance to remain associated with ICVL. It is better to take a call now than keeping the issue hanging in the balance. The ministry of steel will take a call soon," the source said.

The matter came into the spotlight once again in recent times following ICVL’s acquisition of Rio Tinto’s Mozambique coal assets. NTPC and CIL against showed their reservations on taking part in ICVL’s maiden deal, announced in July. SAIL, RINL and NMDC then formed an SPV for buying the assets.

“The reluctance of NTPC and CIL in buying assets together have perhaps irked the management of ICVL and its key members. Writing to the steel ministry for restructuring itself could perhaps be a fall out of that," the source said.

The $50 million Mozambique deal of ICVL involves 65% stake buy in Benga and 100% each in Zambeze and Tete East coal assets. Tata Steel has the remaining 35% stake in the operating Benga mine.

These assets have an estimated reserve of 2.6 billion tonnes in which 70% deposits are coking coal and the remaining 30% are of thermal coal.

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