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NTPC to pump in Rs 8,900 crore to develop captive coal mines

KOLKATA: NTPCBSE 0.31 % will invest 8,900 crore to develop its own mines and reduce the share of imported coal in its total consumption to 10% in three years from 21% at present. 

Coal imports will decline from 24 million tonnes this year to 13 mt by 2017 as the state-run power major will meet almost 17% of its coal requirement from its own mines by 2017. This will also help NTPC reduce its dependence on Coal India, its largest supplier from 81.7% now to 72% in 2017. 

"We have already spent around 1,400 crore in the six mines that have been allotted to us. Another 7,500 crore will be spent in the next four years," NTPC chairman 
Arup Roy Choudhury told ET. 

"NTPC's plan to get into mining was part of its initiative to attain fuel security, both in terms of quality and quantity. Accordingly, the government allotted six coal blocks to NTPC. These are Pakri-Barwadih, Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari, Dulanga, Talaipalli and Chatti-Bariatu(South). These blocks have an estimated geological reserve of over three billion tonnes," said Roy Choudhury. 

NTPC hopes to produce around 3 million tonnes during 2013-14, which is expected to touch 37 mt by 2016-17. 

The coal ministry had earlier de-allocated Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari and Chatti-Bariatu (South) coal blocks, but has withdrawn the de-allocation on January 23 this year. Block development activities have recommenced since then. "The company has already achieved substantial progress in obtaining essential clearances from various state, central authorities, ministries," a senior NTPC official said. 

"The company's Pakri-Barwadih project is at the most advanced stage of development and the coal ministry has already approved its mining plan and it has received environmental clearance from the ministry of environment and forest," the official said. 

About 2,536 acres of forest land in Pakri-Barwadih project and 319 acres of forest land in Chatti-Bariatu project are available. In fact, NTPC has already appointed a mine developer-cum-operator (MDO) for Pakri-Barwadih and Chatti-Bariatu coal blocks and production is expected to start during the current financial year. 

The coal ministry has also approved mining plans for Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari, Dulanga and Talaipalli. The company has obtained both environment and forest clearance for Chatti-Bariatu; environment and stage-I forest clearance for Kerandari & Talaipalli blocks; and in-principle environment clearance for Dulanga block from the MoEF. 

"For expeditious development of these coal blocks, NTPC has sought active support of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha governments, where these coal blocks are located,"the official said. In addition to the existing six coal blocks, the coal ministry has conveyed allocation of four additional coal blocks to NTPC- Banai and Bhalumunda blocks in Chhattisgarh and Chandrabila and Kudanali-Laburi blocks in Odisha - for 8460 mw of fresh generating capacity.