Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL), promoted by MP Naveen Jindal, is targeting to acquire more coal mines in South Africa and Mozambique.

“We are also looking at many other parts in the world; we have acquired mines in South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana. We have also got coal mining licences in Australia and we are looking at resources in many other countries for both coal and iron ore,” said Sushil Maroo, Director and Group Chief Financial Officer of JSPL.

Till now, the company has acquired diamond exploration licences in Congo, coal mining rights in South Africa, Mozambique and Australia, limestone exploration in Madagascar and copper mining in Zambia and Tanzania, among others.

However, JSPL had to opt out of a nearly $2.1 billion project in Bolivia after differences with its Government.

“Bolivia was a very ambitious project, it was the largest investment envisaged in Latin America by any Indian company,” Maroo told media persons at an Assocham seminar.

HYDEL PROJECT

JSPL targets to commission the first unit of 6,000 MW run on river hydro power project in Arunachal Pradesh by 2020.

“We are setting up a 6,000 MW plant in Arunachal Pradesh, we are awaiting clearances and then will approach the electricity boards for PPAs (power purchase agreements) and, thereafter, the financial closure, first unit is likely by 2020,” Maroo added.

At the same time, he denied market speculation that JSPL is looking for joint venture partners for its hydro projects.

“We are not looking for any equity participation in our hydro projects,” he clarified.

COAL IMPORTS

The CFO indicated that excess import of coal due to shortfall in domestic production has a bigger impact on valuation of rupee and forex reserves.

“If we are also importing coal in a big way after the crude then a lot of the foreign currency will go away and if it is not matched by the export in this country then there will be pressure on the rupee. The rupee will depreciate over a period of time, it is all the more important for us that we reduce the dependence on import for the sector where we have the availability in the country,” Maroo explained.

COAL BLOCK AUCTION

JSPL is of the view that the proposed auction of coal mines should be done only after getting some statutory clearances for the blocks.

“Price (of mines) will depend on the quality of the mine, clearances which are available, the rehabilitation issues, cost of mining, among others,” Maroo said.

siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 5, 2012)
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