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Coal India floats tender to import 2.416 MT of coal to meet demand

Coal stocks in the 173 power plants tracked by the Central Electricity Authority were at 23.88 million tonne as of 7 June, which is 36% of the required 66.96 million tonne. (Photo: Bloomberg)Premium
Coal stocks in the 173 power plants tracked by the Central Electricity Authority were at 23.88 million tonne as of 7 June, which is 36% of the required 66.96 million tonne. (Photo: Bloomberg)

  • The move follows the Centre's emphasis on building coal stocks to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the country, avoiding outages that took place during April-May

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NEW DELHI : With power demand surging along with rising mercury, Coal India has floated an international bidding tender, seeking bids for import of 2.416 million tonne of coal. 

Coal India said that the coal is being sourced on behalf of the state power generating companies (gencos) and independent power plants (IPPs) based on the indents received from them. The import would be for the July-September period. There is a provision in the tender to accommodate a variation of above or below 30% of the bid quantity. The coal being sought is 5,000 GAR (gross as received) thermal grade coal, the company said in a statement. 

The Centre had nominated Coal India as a centralized agency to augment coal supplies to state gencos and IPPs through import of coal, at a time when the demand for coal is high. The board of the public sector major on 2 June had given its nod for the company to proceed ahead with the issuance of two international tenders for sourcing coal from overseas, a short term and a medium-term tender. 

The current short-term tender for import of coal, for Q2 of FY23, is source agnostic, which means that the coal can be sourced from any country. 

Though coal import is an uncharted terrain for CIL, within a week of receiving indents from the seven state gencos and 19 IPPs, for a total of 2.416 MTs of coal, the company on a war footing has finalized and floated the tender. The last date for the receipt of bids is 29 June. There is an option of pre-bid meeting on 14 June to seek clarification on any nuances of the tender.  

After the price discovery, CIL will execute a contract with the successful bidder. Then the state-owned coal miner shall enter into agreements with state gencos and IPPs to whom coal has to be supplied. The coal imported shall be routed through nine ports located in east and west coasts of the country. The successful agency, selected through the bidding process, shall deliver coal at the doorstep of the power plants of state gencos and IPPs. 

The development comes on the back of the emphasis by the Union government on import of coal by state gencos for blending in a bid to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the country after the crisis situation faced in April-May. 

The ministry had on 1 June directed power generation companies to start the process of coal imports by 3 June, failing which they would allocated only 70% of their requirement of domestic coal.

On Tuesday, Union power minister R.K. Singh told reporters here that almost all states have started the process of importing coal. He said that coal stock scenario is improving in the country as the imports have started to flow in 

The coal tenders for coal imports come at a time when power demand is again on the upswing and the maximum power demand met has surpassed the 200 GW mark.

On June 8, the maximum power demand met hit record level of 209.809 GW. The peak shortage was 936 MW.

rituraj.baruah@livemint.com

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