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Coal will continue to play a major role in new electricity generation capacity in India, Reliance Power Ltd.'s Chief Executive Jayarama Chalasani said (Mint)
Coal will continue to play a major role in new electricity generation capacity in India, Reliance Power Ltd.'s Chief Executive Jayarama Chalasani said (Mint)

Jindal, Boulder Stone, JMS place winning bids

Wednesday’s result takes the total number of auctioned coal mines to 13

Jindal Power Ltd, JMS Mining Pvt. Ltd and Boulder Stone Mart Pvt. Ltd on Wednesday placed winning bids for four coal mines auctioned for commercial mining, a government official said.

On the third day of auctions, Jindal Power placed the winning bid for the Gare-Palma-IV/1 coal mine in Chhattisgarh, while JMS Mining submitted the winning bid for the Urtan North coal mine in Madhya Pradesh. Boulder Stone Mart placed the final bid for the Gotitoria East and Gotitoria West coal mines in Madhya Pradesh. These mines have a total reserve of 161.53 million tonnes.

A total of 38 coal mines have been put on auction by the coal ministry. There have been 76 bids from 42 companies for 23 coal mines, with the remaining 15 mines not getting any bids.

On the first two days of auctions, winning bids were placed for nine coal mines by firms such as Vedanta Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd, Adani Enterprises, Aurobindo Realty and Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp. Ltd and EMIL Mines and Minerals Resources Ltd. Wednesday’s auction takes the total number of auctioned mines to 13.

“The e-auction witnessed strong competition amongst the bidders with all mines attracting good premiums over the floor price," the coal ministry said in a statement.

Other qualified bidders were Adani Enterprises Ltd and Hindalco Industries Ltd (for Gare-Palma-IV/1); Adani’s Stratatech Mineral Resources Pvt. Ltd and Sunflag Iron and Steel Co. Ltd (for Urtan North coal mine); and AP Mineral Development Corp., Dilip Buildcon Ltd, Bansal Construction Works Pvt. Ltd, Mahavir Clean Fuel Mining Pvt. Ltd, Inspire Construction and Coal Pvt. Ltd, ND Pharma Pvt. Ltd and Net Energy Pvt. Ltd (for Gotitoria East and Gotitoria West).

India’s coal requirement is expected to go up to 1.1 billion tonnes by 2023 from the present level of around 700 million tonnes. The earlier plan was to mine 1.5 billion tonnes of coal by 2020.

India’s push to raise production of natural resources to revive economic growth also comes at a time when the window for fossil fuels is closing and the global energy landscape is evolving. India on its part has called for a reset on the climate debate on coal as a fuel, in the backdrop of it becoming one of the top renewable energy producers globally with ambitious capacity expansion plans.

The two-stage auction process follows a decision taken by the cabinet committee on economic affairs in May to award coal and lignite blocks on a revenue-sharing basis. A bidder has to bid for the percentage revenue share over the reserve price.

There will be no restriction on the sale and utilization of coal from these mines. Earlier, blocks were awarded on a fixed payment per tonne basis and the government believes that this was impeding the use of the resource.

The government has been trying to raise India’s coal output. In 2018, it allowed commercial mining by private entities.

The government had approved the promulgation of the Mineral Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, to attract investment in coal mining.

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