MUMBAI, March 7 A unit of Coal India Ltd
has revived a proposal to set up a 1,600 megawatts
power plant in India's eastern Odisha state at a cost of 90
billion rupees ($1.6 billion), an official said, marking the
world's largest coal miner's foray into the power sector.
The state-owned miner may approach its board for approval of
the plan in the next few months, after getting a final nod from
the coal ministry, A.N. Sahay, chairman of Mahanadi Coalfields
Ltd (MCL) said on Thursday.
The project was originally announced by MCL, a subsidiary of
Coal India, in 2011 to utilise excess stocks at its mines in
Odisha's Sundergarh district, as evacuating coal from the area
"The area has a lot of coal locked up, but we aren't able to
transport it due to logistics. Its better to burn the coal and
generate electricity," Sahay told Reuters over telephone.
Coal India, which accounts for about 80 percent of India's
coal output, has been under pressure from the government and
power producers to boost supply, but has struggled to raise
production due to delays in environmental and regulatory
MCL has formed a joint venture company through which it
would hold 49 percent stake in the project. It has invited
expressions of interest (EOI) from potential partners and
received nearly 40 responses, Sahay said.
Once approved, the project would take three to four years
for completion, and is expected to generate power at around 2
rupees per unit, he said.
($1 = 54.78 rupees)
(Reporting by Prashant Mehra; Editing by Jijo Jacob)