MAC: Mines and Communities

India Shortlists 4 Countries For Coal Mine Buys

Published by MAC on 2006-12-04
Source: Financial Express ()

India shortlists 4 countries for coal mine buys

Financial Express

4th December 2006

NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 4: India has shortlisted four countries in which it may consider buying coalmines as it grapples with growing domestic demand from power plants to fuel a booming economy, a top government official said on Monday.

"We have shortlisted Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Indonesia and Bangladesh for acquiring coal mines," H.C. Gupta, coal secretary, told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference.

Gupta said India would import 35 million tonnes of coal in the financial year that ends in March 2007, about the same amount as it purchased last year. Power companies account for 70 per cent of India's total coal consumption.

"We are looking at a production of 400 million tonnes of coal in 2006-07, which is four times the size of the country's production 30 years ago," Gupta said. He added coal consumption would reach an annual 1.2 billion tonnes by 2021.

"India's increasing need of coal provides an immense opportunity to investors as public and private sector companies are eager to help the country raise coal production," he said.

State owned companies account for 90 per cent of production.

"We have identified 140 blocks and 30 billion tonnes of reserves for captive use by the private sector. Altogether 50 billion tonnes of reserves will be there for both public and private sectors for captive mining," Gupta said

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