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Home >Industry >Energy >Gare Palma IV/7 coal mine in Chhattisgarh to be auctioned today

NEW DELHI : Adani Enterprises Ltd, Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd (BALCO), Jindal Power Ltd, JSW Steel Ltd, DB Power Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd, Nuvoco Vistas Corporation Ltd, and Sarda Energy and Minerals Ltd will be in fray today for Gare Palma IV/7 coal mine in Chhattisgarh.

So far, 18 coal mines have been auctioned since the commercial coal mine auctions began on last Monday. The mines are being awarded on a revenue-sharing basis, while earlier blocks were allocated to companies on the payment of fixed amounts per tonne.

While a total of 38 coal mines were initially put-on auction by the coal ministry, a total of 19 mines are finally being bid out. There were initially 76 bids from 42 companies for 23 coal mines, with the remaining 15 mines not getting any bids. Also, four mines got only one bid, putting these 19 mines out of the auction process.

The Jharkhand state government has also filed a suit in the Supreme Court over its concerns about holding these commercial coal mine auctions during the pandemic, as it may impact bidder’ participation.

As part of the two-stage auction process, a bidder has to quote the percentage revenue share over the reserve price. There will be no restriction on the sale and utilization of coal from these mines.

Experts have welcomed the move to award mines for commercial coal mining.

“Government of India’s decision to open coal sector for commercial mining is a welcome and bold step. First and foremost, it is a message to state owned monopolies that now that the Government is willing to business with anyone and everyone, they might as well have a hard look at their efficiency norms and performance parameters," said Sanjay Kumar, director, personnel at Western Coalfields Ltd, a Coal India Ltd' subsidiary.

The successful bidders so far have been Aditya Birla Group’ EMIL Mines and Minerals Resources Ltd (Bandha and Radhikapur East), Adani Enterprises Ltd (Gondulpara and Dhirauli), Aurobindo Realty and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (Urma-Paharitola, and Takli-Jena-Bellora North and South), Boulder Stone Mart Pvt Ltd (Gotitoria—West and East) and JMS Mining Pvt Ltd (Urtan North and Urtan).

Also, Jindal Power Ltd (Gare Palma IV/1), Vedanta Ltd (Radhikapur West), Hindalco Industries Ltd (Chakla), Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp. Ltd (Brahmadiha), Fairmine Carbons Pvt Ltd (Rajhara North—Central and Eastern), Sarda Energy and Minerals Ltd (Sahapur West), Yazdani International Pvt Ltd (Marki Mangli II) and Chowgule and Company Pvt Ltd (Sahapur East) placed the winning bids.

India’s coal requirement is expected to go up to 1123 million tonnes (mt) by 2023 from the present levels of around 700 mt. The earlier plan was to mine 1.5 billion tonnes of coal by 2020. Despite having the world’s fourth largest coal reserves, India imports around 235 million tonnes (mt) of coal, of which around 135mt can be been met from domestic reserves.

These bids come at a time when the global investor community is focusing on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing and the window for fossil fuels is closing. While transitioning to a green economy, India has also called for a reset on climate debate on coal as a fuel.

“India’s focus on ramping up production of fossil fuels and other natural resources does not necessarily mean that it loses out on the ESG front. ESG does not mean ‘end of business’. Infact it is a prescription which if adhered to or complied with in full means increased funds for a business. India has its laws in place since many years which regulate environmental norms, social norms and corporate governance," said Kumar.

India plans to have 175 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy capacity by 2022. Of this, it seeks to produce 100 GW from solar projects and 60GW from wind power plants by March 2022. This is further to be scaled up to 450 GW by 2030.

“While India is trying to live up to its global commitments with regard to emission norms, it is also trying to make sure that it has self-sufficiency on the energy front," Kumar added.

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