India's NTPC to issue import tender for 4 mln T coal

Thu Mar 3, 2011 11:31pm EST

* State-run utility's first tender to directly import coal

* Says FY12 coal import seen at 16 mlnT vs 12.5 mlnT in FY11

* Aims to add over 5,000 MW in FY12 vs 3,150 MW in FY11

NEW DELHI, March 4 (Reuters) - India's largest power producer, NTPC Ltd (NTPC.BO), will this month float its first tender to directly import 4 million tonnes of coal to feed its expanding capacity, its chairman said on Friday.

Arup Roy Choudhury said the state-run utility, which had relied on government trading firms such as MMTC Ltd (MMTC.BO) and State Trading Corp of India (STC) (STCI.BO) for imports, would consume 12.5 million tones of imported coal in the current year ending on March 31.

"Next fiscal we plan to import 16 million tones. Of this 12 million tonnes have already been arranged by STC, and remaining we will do directly. By March 31 we will float the coal import tender for 4 million tonnes," he said.

NTPC would be seeking 5,700-6,300 gross calorific value coal through the tender and would want sellers to deliver coal at its plants, Roy Choudhury said.

India has 10 percent of the world's coal reserves, the biggest after the United States, Russia and China, but imports have grown rapidly and the country plans to import 84 million tonnes in the current financial year.

Coal-fired plants account for about half of India 168 gigawatts installed capacity.

NTPC aims to add more than 5,000 megawatts (MW) generation capacity in the next fiscal year versus about 3,150 MW in the current fiscal, Roy Choudhury said.

India needs to significantly raise its power generation capacity to reduce peak hour power shortages and provide electricity to millions of rural households.

NTPC's coal import requirement is set to rise further as it aims to have 75,000 MW generation capacity by March 2017, as against 33,000 MW now, Roy Choudhury said. (Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)