NTPC plans stake buy in Indonesia coal mines

NTPC plans stake buy in Indonesia coal mines

New Delhi: India’s top power utility NTPC Ltd is looking to buy stakes in two Indonesian coal mines and also plans to invite global bids for more overseas assets, its chairman said on Monday.

NTPC aims to lock-in fuel supplies to feed its rising generation capacity, currently at 32.2 giga watts and expects it to rise to 75 GW by 2017.

India may face a coal shortfall of 189 million tonnes a year by 2015, leading to a two-fold increase in imports, global consultancy KPMG said late last month.

The state-run firm hopes to finalise the deals for the two mines -- in East Kalimantan and Sumatra -- in the current financial year to March 2011, R.S. Sharma told reporters.

The East Kalimantan and Sumatra mines have resources of around 1 billion tonnes and 800 million tonnes, respectively, Sharma said, but declined to elaborate.

While India has the world’s fourth-largest coal reserves, its coal imports have grown rapidly as Asia’s third-largest power producer seeks to step up capacities to end blackouts.

Indian power firms, including Reliance Power and Tata Power Co have acquired coal mines in Indonesia and South Africa. Recently, Adani Enterprises agreed to buy Linc Energy’s coal asset in Australia in a $2.7 billion deal.


NTPC expects to import up to 15 million tonnes of coal in the next financial year, as its annual requirement of the fuel could rise an estimated 6.5% to 165 million tonnes, Sharma said. It is expected to import 12 million tonnes in the current fiscal.

Currently, state-trading firms import coal for NTPC. “This is a stop-gap arrangement for one to two years," Sharma said, adding, he hoped his firm could directly buy 40-60% of its coal imports in 2011-12.

Separately, NTPC on Monday signed an initial agreement with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to set up two coal-fired power plants of 1320 MW capacity each in the neighbouring country.

NTPC and BPDB would be equal partners in the venture that would build the plants, expected to cost Rs140 billion (about $3 billion), power secretary P. Uma Shankar earlier told reporters.

NTPC’s Sharma said his firm had offered below 50% stake to Qatar Petroleum in expansion of its Kayamkulam power project in southern Kerala state. The 350 mega watt, gas-based project is being ramped up to 1.4 GW.

“In return for gas, they (Qatar Petroleum) can have a stake in Kayamkulam expansion beyond 1,400 MW or any other project."