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Corporate Nov 25, 2012

Coal India chief takes potshots at critics over missed targets

New Delhi: Hitting out at Coal India detractors, CIL chairman and managing director S Narsing Rao today said those making a hue and cry over stranded power projects for lack of fuel have themselves fallen short of their target in mining coal from blocks allocated to them.

"They (these companies) are making a big noise here and there that their projects do not get coal and are stranded. Someone should ask them what about their responsibility for their failures," said Rao.

Coal India, chairman and managing director, S Narsing Rao. Image courtesy CIL

Coal India Ltd (CIL), which accounts for 84 percent of the country's total coal production of about 540 million tonnes, has been facing sharp criticism from public and private sector power companies for falling short of its production target.

Besides, the coal producer has also been blamed for poor quality of the fuel. NTPC has also brought down by 10,000 MW in its 12th Plan capacity target to about 65,000 MW.

NTPC chairman and managing director Arup Roy Choudhury had said last week that "the quality of coal that we received from Coal India is poor, we have informed the power ministry about that".

Rao said CIL with reserves of 60 billion tonnes produced 435 million tonnes in 2011-12, while the companies which were allotted 48 billion tonnes since 1997 onwards for captive use mostly for power generation could mine barely 36 million tonnes in the last fiscal.

"If you give directly to the captive users, they have a direct stake. Coal India is a business entity. Moreover, captive users have much more stake than just producing coal... No-one is talking about them," Rao said.

Moreover, most of the allottees of the captive coal blocks have also procured supply commitments from CIL under the Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs), he said.

As many as 196 mines with 48 billion tonnes reserves have been allotted to public and private sector firms like NTPC and DVC for captive use since 1997.

Rao added that the dismal show by captive block allottees also indicated that "there is some inherent limitation in the sector".

He added that despite battling a number of issues like poor infrastructure in coalfields, CIL could achieve 435 MT output last fiscal.

Power major NTPC which has so far not entered into FSA with Coal India was alloted six coal blocks 2004 onwards.

Out of the six blocks, three-Chatti-Bariatu, Kerandari and Chatti-Bariatu (South)-were taken back by coal ministry last year for non-production, while the ministry later in principle agreed to revert back the same to NTPC on requests from the power ministry.

Coal India is the world's largest producer of the dry-fuel.

CIL has to supply 80 percent of the committed quantity of coal under FSA to 48 power firms having a capacity of about 30,000 MW under a presidential directive.

PTI


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