ETA Star, Emmsons form JV to acquire Indonesian coal blocks

ETA Star, Emmsons form JV to acquire Indonesian coal blocks

Dubai-based ETA Star group has formed a joint venture company—STAR Emmsons Resources—in a 70:30 partnership with Emmsons International Ltd to acquire coal mines in the Kalimantan province of Indonesia.

This follows the company’s strategy to become an integrated power generation company, and enter the coal import business in India.

“We are considering four-five opportunities in Indonesia and hope to commence in-house production of coal in the coming months.

“The JV ... is an important step of taking forward the plans of leveraging coal supplies for the independent power producers through imported coal," said M. Tariq Raza, resident director of ETA Star India Projects Pvt. Ltd.

Indonesia has emerged as a hot spot for acquiring stakes in coal blocks for Indian companies, with players such as Coal India Ltd, Lanco Infratech Ltd and Madhucon Projects Ltd evaluating opportunities.

Tata Power Co. Ltd recently acquired a 30% stake in two coal mining units and a trading company from Indonesia’s PT Bumi Resources for Rs4,740 crore.

“We will enter the coal import business in India on the back of our coal blocks," Hameed Syed Salahuddin, director, ETA Star, had said.

The size of the market for imported coal for power generation in India is around 20 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). ETA will have to compete, among others, with Coal & Oil Group Llc. Dubai, PTC India Ltd and Minerals and Metals Trading Corp.

“An initiative for acquisition of coal mines, under the present scenario of huge requirements of imported coal in India, is the need of the hour," said Anil Monga, managing director, Emmsons.

ETA and Emmsons already trade and source coal supplies from Indonesia, South Africa, China and Africa.

The $4 billion (Rs15,920 crore) ETA Star group plans to set up a 1,200MW imported coal-based power project at an investment of Rs6,000 crore, for which it is scouting in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

The firm also plans to build a ship terminal as part of the project to receive the imported coal, as also to help it in the coal import business.

Coal imports are projected to more than double to 40mtpa by 2012 due to an increase in demand from power projects.