State-owned power sector major National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has been allocated eight coal blocks to meet coal requirement for its 15 thermal based power plants with an installed capacity of 22,895 mega-watts (MW). This marks NTPC’s entry into the coal mining sector.
“NTPC’s entry into coal mining aims to ensure fuel security and provide power to consumers at a lower cost through forward and backward linkages,” a company official said.
“Six of the eight blocks will be owned by NTPC. The other two blocks will be developed in 50:50 joint venture partnerships with Coal India Ltd,” the official added.
Out of the eight blocks, four were in Nathkarampura in Jharkhand and one each in the Raigarh district in Chhattisgarh and Ib valley in Orissa, the official said.
The other two blocks to be develop jointly with Coal India Ltd have been allocated in Dumka, Jharkhand.
“We expect these mines to produce about 31 million tonnes of coal per year in their full capacity,” the official said. Production from the new coal blocks would begin by the end of next year, he added.
“We are awaiting clearances from the government on land acquisition, environment, explosive licenses, and the final go-ahead from the Directorate General of Mines, before these blocks get into production,” the official said.
NTPC is scouting for mines in Indonesia and Australia to ensure adequate coal linkages for its thermal power plants, and is also considering the option of acquiring equity stake in overseas mines”, the official said.