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PMO zeroes in on power gaps

business Updated: Jan 31, 2012 01:46 IST
HT Correspondent

The committee of secretaries (Cos), constituted recently under Prime Minister’s principal secretary, Pulok Chatterjee, has identified ways to resolve the five key problems cited by power sector firms.

According to official sources, the PMO has told the coal ministry to direct state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) to execute all fuel supply agreements related to domestic coal for projects planned up to March 31, 2012.

“This will fuel a capacity addition of 95,000 MW from various power projects,” the source said. The requirement of coal for these power projects is around 425 million tonnes of coal annually.

The PMO will also take stock of the decisions emerging out of the EGoM on gas allocations. The EGoM on gas under finance minister Pranab Mukherjee — which has not met for more than two years — has to fix allocations of gas for nearly 8,000 MW of gas based power projects ready for commissioning in 11th plan period.

The third area being worked by the PMO is to schedule a meeting of another EGoM on ultra mega power projects (UMPP) at the earliest to consider imported coal issues. Projects like Tata’s Mundra 4000 MW project and Reliance’s Krishnapatanam 4000 MW project are awaiting directions of the EGoM after the increase in imported coal prices following change in land and tax laws in countries from where the coal supplies are to be sourced.

Sources said the PMO has also sought scheduling a GoM meeting on coal to consider final forest clearances for eight different blocks, recommended by PMO in 2010, which includes Chhatrasal block linked with Sasan UMPP and Mahan block for Essar and Birla group.

The PMO is also looking into a policy of maximising coal production from captive coal blocks so as to enhance domestic production leading to lower imports and energy security for the power sector.