Coal India Limited (CIL) intends to export coal and is in talks with power companies in Bangladesh for striking supply deals. This is the first time Coal India will be exporting the fossil fuel on a commercial basis.
Coal India subsidiaries, Bharat Coking Coal and North Eastern Coal fields, plan to supply coal to Bangladesh power companies. It is likely to be transported to Haldia port in West Bengal from where it could be forwarded through sea route to ports in Bangladesh.
"CIL`s coal is likely to be cheaper than the ones supplied from Indonesia because we would save on logistics. The coal produced by these two subsidiaries are of high quality that can compete with Indonesian coal," a Coal India official said.
CIL is an Indian state-controlled coal mining company headquartered in Kolkata.
It is the largest coal producer company in the world and contributes around 82 per cent of the coal production in India, according to the Wikipedia.
At present, power companies in the country are full-to-brim with 22 days of fossil fuel stocked and are going slow on fresh procurement. Having grown at around 10% last year, Coal India is saddled with some 55 million tonnes of pit head stocks.
"Coal India could not afford to export coal till last year because the fossil fuel was in short supply. The scenario changed last year when the company managed to pull up production at a considerable pace. Surplus stocks at pit head and slow lifting by power companies have prompted us to explore the international market. We have sent a team of senior official to Coal India. They are in talks with power companies in Bangladesh," the official said.
Apart from local Bangladeshi companies Coal India has also initiated talks with NTPC`s joint venture in Bangladesh, the 1,320 mw Maitree Project at Rampal in Bagerhat district. The project is a 50:50 JV between NTPC and the Bangladesh Power Development Board.
"We are in talks with Coal India for procuring coal. In case they offer the fuel at a price that would economically viable for us and supplying to us technically feasible, we are ready to procure it for our proposed plants that are likely to be ready within the next couple years. At a proposed capacity of 1,320 MW, we would require around 4 million tonnes of coal every year," said Ujjwal Bhattacharya, managing director Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company.
"During 2003-04, Coal India did supply coal to Nepal and Bangladesh. However, these supplies were more for rescuing the two countries from lack of availability of coal. Volumes sent were small, 1 lakh tonne for Bangladesh and some 40,000 tonnes for Nepal. With changed scenario we are looking at commercially competing with foreign players," said the CIL official.
Source: The Economic Times