JSPL, Strategic Energy Technology Systems (a joint venture between Tata Group and Sasol), Birla Corporation, and Monnet Ispat and Energy are among the companies that have lost coal mines allocated to them as they were unable to meet contractual commitments.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has given his nod to de-allocate 11 coal blocks for lack of progress in exploration within the set timeline. With this, the number of blocks taken back by the Government stands at 51. Earlier, 40 blocks were de-allocated.

The other companies that have lost their mines this time include Rungta Mines, OCL India, Ocean Ispat,Topworth Steel, Rathi Udyog, and Sunflag Iron Steel and Castron.

Out of the companies impacted, JSPL will end up losing three blocks (see table). Out of these, two blocks — Ramchandi Promotional and Amarkonda Murgadangal — were allocated to JSPL alone, while the third (Urtan North) held along with Monnet Ispat and Energy, will have to be surrendered to the Government.

The decision was taken by the Minister on Thursday, a Coal Ministry official told Business Line. This was after an Inter-Ministerial Group headed by the Additional Secretary in the Coal Ministry sent its recommendations to de-allocate blocks and deduct the bank guarantees.

Bank guarantee

The Ministry has also decided to forfeit bank guarantees of six firms, the official added. The Inter-Ministerial Group undertook review of 30 coal blocks.

Before the de-allocation, all companies were served with show-cause notices and allowed to present their cases before the review committee.

The latest de-allocation also brings to an end the fate of coal-to-liquid (CTL) projects. In a CTL project, liquid fuels such as methanol, petrol and diesel are produced from coal.

siddhartha.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 22, 2013)
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