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NEW DELHI: State-owned Coal India has issued two tenders to import 6 million tonnes of the dry fuel in the next 12 months to meet surging power demand in the country, the miner said on Friday.

This follows another tender issued on Thursday to import 2.42 million tonnes of coal for July-September delivery.

These two medium-term import tenders of 3 million tonne each of coal have the option of increasing the bid quantity by 100% to 12 million tonne, as per a company statement. Bids have been called for 5,000 GAR (gross as received) thermal grade coal.

“The tenders are not indent based but to keep coal on tap for immediate availability and use in future. It is an advance action by CIL in fortifying future supplies and keeping a vendor ready," it said.

The tenure for placement of order is for a period of one year, beginning July of the ongoing fiscal till June FY23. The minimum indent quantity will be 50,000 tonne, said Coal India.

As and when indented by the state gencos and independent power plants, orders will be placed to ship the coal into the country. Delivery of coal would be made within 30 days, from the date of placing the indents. This means delivery at doorstep.

For the 6 million tonne of coal sought through competitive bids, nine destination ports have been identified for discharge of the coal, 3 million tonne each at the eastern and western coasts of the country. The estimated value of the work is pegged at 3,850 crore for each tranche of 3 million tonne.

The last date for submission and opening and the bids received is 5 July.

This is the first time Coal India has taken to imports, as the government has directed the company to source coal from abroad given shortages in the country amid soaring demand for power. On 9 June, the maximum power demand met touched a new record of 210.793 GW, with peak shortage at 578 MW.

The Centre had nominated Coal India as the nodal agency to augment supplies to state power generating companies and independent power plants (IPPs) through imports at a time when demand is high.

The development comes on the back of 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.

Earlier this week, Union power minister R.K. Singh told reporters that almost all states have started the process of importing coal. He said coal stocks in the country have been improving as imports have started to flow in.

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