Tata Power plans to import 7 mt of coal


Kalimantan Coal

Rahul Wadke

Mumbai, Feb. 11 Tata Power Company Ltd, which holds 30 per cent stake in a group of coal mines in Indonesia, is now scouting for other sources to import about seven million tonnes of coal for its proposed power plants.

A senior company official said Tata Power was exploring various options including further acquisition of stakes in mines in Indonesia, South Africa and Australia.

Mr Banmali Agrawala, Executive Director (Strategy & Business Development), Tata Power, said that given the slow pace of awarding coal linkage by the Government and the rising power needs, the company has to resort to import of coal.

Indonesian mines offer better prospects but as the company has already signed a $1.1-billion deal to buy 30 per cent stake in two Indonesian coal companies, the company would like to explore other opportunities.

Mr Agrawala did not spell out the investment details. He said that the nature of coal procurement from foreign mines would depend on the arrangement the company works out with the overseas player. It could follow the Indonesian model, where coal is procured as when the plant is commissioned or any other alternative.

In June 2007, the company had purchased 30 per cent stakes in two major Indonesian thermal coal producers – PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Arutmin Indonesia – and a related trading company owned by PT Bumi Resources Tbk.

Tata Power proposes to set up a 2400-MW power project in Dehrand, Maharasthra, which would be using the imported coal.

Green Energy

Tata Power is keen to expand its portfolio of green energy. It has invested in 200 MW wind projects and is carrying out pilot projects for generating power from solar-thermal technology. The company has made some headway in investing in geothermal energy, Mr Agrawala said. He said geothermal energy offered best prospects especially for baseload power generation.

The company has picked up 10 per cent stake in Australia-based Geodynamics Ltd and has entered into an MoU with the Gujarat Government to explore the possibility of setting up a 5 MW Geothermal power plant.

“For every unit of power we produce, we pump out 750 kg of emissions in the atmosphere. We want to bring down this number and maintain an environmental balance,” Mr Agrawala said.

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