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Home News Power Sector News NMDC to develop in Birbhum coal project in West Bengal

NMDC to develop in Birbhum coal project in West Bengal

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NMDC Chairman and Managing Director Rana SomNavratna public sector National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) will initially invest Rs. 1,000 crore to develop a coal mining project in Birbhum district in West Bengal, Chairman and Managing Director Rana Som said. The West Bengal Power Development Corporation would have a 10-per cent stake in this venture, while the WBMDTC would hold 40 per cent of the equity with NMDC holding 50 per cent and having the right to divest 15 per cent to bring in another partner. West Bengal Power Minister Mrinal Banerjee said that with a proposed capacity of 10,000 MW, the state utilities would need one lakh tonnes of coal a day soon. The project would help the power sector.

Rana Som said the Deocha-Pachami coal block in West Bengal was one of the largest coal blocks in India and NMDC proposed to make its second foray in coal mining with this virgin block. The initial investment would go mainly towards land acquisition and purchase of heavy earth moving machinery. NMDC already had two coal blocks in Madhya Pradesh. The Birbhum block was yet to be allotted. He indicated that this mine would need technology and NMDC might rope in a foreign partner if it so wanted.

Spread over a 9.7-sq. kilometre, the mine had a 2-billion tonne reserve of thermal coal and was deep mine. The MoU paves the way for the geological exploration of the deposit to establish the project’s commercial viability, after which the joint venture would be incorporated to carry forward the project.

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