State-run NTPC is scouting for coal assets overseas and has invited proposals form coal miners interested in offloading stake. The move is aimed at ensuring a steady supply of imported coal which the power producer needs for its plants. NTPC, which generates 43,128 MW of power through its 38 power stations, imports coal to meet its fuel requirement. The company plans to use 17 million tonnes of imported coal this fiscal.
An NTPC executive said the company has floated an expression of interest seeking to acquire strategic stake in coal mines against which the mining company will offer a longterm commitment for off-take of coal. The last date for submission of bids is October 1.
"We have floated an expression of interest, which may lead us to some attractive offers as imported coal prices are at an all-time low," he said. "As the requirement of imported coal for sustaining generation at various power stations is likely to continue, we are exploring longterm tie-ups for imported thermal coal through strategic acquisitions in overseas coal mines."
Once the bids are in, NTPC will carry out due diligence by engaging independent consultants specialising in the fields of technical, legal, tax, accounting and finance.
In 2013-14, NTPC consumed about 148 million tonnes of domestic coal and 10.8 million tonnes of the imported variety. For the current year, it has already invited tenders for 13 million tonnes of imported coal.
India does not produce enough coal to feed all its thermal power plants. Of the 100 coal-based power plants monitored by the Central Electricity Authority, 53 are operating with less than a week's coal stock while 30 are running with less than four days' stock.
State-run Coal India, which accounts for most of he domestic production, is taking emergency steps to supply to plants that have stocks for less than four days. The company is clearing stockpile at railway sidings and other loading areas.
Source- Economic Times