Public sector undertaking Manganese Ore India Ltd (MOIL) plans to acquire and develop new coal blocks under public-private-partnership.

MOIL said it intends to get into development and operations of coal resources and coal mines and was gearing up to acquire coal resources or use part of the coal from the blocks for its projects.

MOIL has 10 mines, six in Maharashtra and four in Madhya Pradesh all of which are 100 years old. Of the 10, seven are underground mines. MOIL produces about 11.51 lakh tonnes of manganese dioxide annually.

The company has a ferro manganese plant of 10,000 tonnes per annum and electrolytic manganese dioxide plant of 1,000 tpa. It also has a captive power plant and plans to expand the capacity of the ferro manganese plant and set up a new silico manganese plant through joint ventures.

Besides its technical expertise, MOIL will also lend support to its strategic partners whom it said should be in a position to locate viable coal blocks for acquisition or obtain joint or exclusive rights to blocks already with public sector undertakings or other government enterprises.

Supply shortfall

With power producers clamouring for coal supply, the Prime Minister's Office, last month, directed Coal India to sign fuel supply agreements (FSAs) for all plants that were commissioned up to December 31, 2011, by March 31. It also instructed Coal India to ink FSAs for projects that have long-term PPAs (power purchase agreements) with power distribution companies that were commissioned or would be commissioned on or before March 31, 2015.

The PMO directive also made it clear that Coal India will arrange any supply shortfall through imports or through arrangement with State or central public sector undertakings, which have been allotted coal blocks.

In 2010, the Government issued notices to 84 coal and four lignite blocks asking why they should not be de-allocated as they had not been developed within the stipulated period. Subsequently, 14 were de-allocated, including those given to NTPC and Damodar Valley Corporation, which were later restored on condition that they would be developed in two years.

murug@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 7, 2012)
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