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Rel Power eyes coal mining with NTPC

Jharkhand Integrated Power Ltd, a subsidiary of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Power, has told the government it wants to join hands with state-run generation utility NTPC in mining coal from mines in Jharkhand that have been given to the entities to fuel their upcoming power projects.

Reliance is in the process of setting-up a 4,000 mw ultra-mega power plant at Tilayia and NTPC is working on a nearly 2,000 mw unit at North Karanpura areas of Jharkhand. The Centre has earmarked Kerendari B and C coal mines for the Tilayia project, and North Karanpura for NTPC plant. Both mines are in the state’s Hazaribagh district.

Coal ministry sources said Reliance has argued that a joint approach would yield some 200 million tonne of additional coal, which is good enough to sustain a 2,000 mw plant for 25 years. Without joint mining, this is the quantity of coal that will remain locked up as barrier between the two mines.

Coal mining norms require a natural land-barrier of 15 metres between two mines to ensure stability of pits. Combined with the increasing gradient of slopes as coal is mined, both companies will have to forego some 100 million tonne of coal each as barrier and batter losses since both will have to leave this quantity as barrier.
Sources said, coal ministry’s committee for approving mining plans has given its nod. It has also suggested similar arrangement in the Moher-Amrohi mine in MP earmarked for Reliance Power’s Sasan ultra-mega project.

A Reliance Power spokesperson confirmed the development, saying “this (is the optimum way to mine coal. We will have to sit down with NTPC to discuss how to go about it (coordiante mining operations). But a top NTPC executive maintained that it was premature to talk. “First, the proposal has not reached us. Two, we have already contracted our mines development.”

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