Union Coal Ministry has granted its prior approval for mining lease of Utkal-E Coal Block in Angul with an estimated reserve of 70 million tons of coal and covering an area of 212 hectres in favour of aluminium major NALCO, official sources said.
The allocation was made to meet the coal requirement of the Navaratna PSU's new captive power units at Angul, which supplies power to the company's smelter located nearby.
"The two units of 120 MW each commissioned in 2009 and 2010 respectively, have been operated by procuring coal through e-auction and imports," NALCO CMD BL Bagra said on Sunday.
The linkage with Mahanadi Ccoalfield Limited (MCL) granted to Nalco was valid up to the scheduled commencement of production from Utkal-E coal block which has been deployed in the process of securing the environment clearance and further delayed due to land acquistion, he said.
For last one year, there was no linkage coal available to the aluminium company which is fully dependent on e-auction and imported coal for operating the two uunits of the CPP, Bagra added.
Mining lease deed between the state government and Nalco would be signed soon.
Mining will be carried out in the allocated area after obtaining permission from the forest department under Forest Conservation Act and meeting other procedural requirements and stipulations, he added.