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NTPC set to become a coal behemoth in 5 years

In line with the government’s plans to boost domestic output of coal, India’s largest thermal power producer, NTPC Ltd, could soon become one of the major coal-producers of the country as well. NTPC plans to produce up to 300 million tonnes of coal within the next four to five years, chairman and managing director Arup Roy Choudhury said.

“As we expect more coal blocks coming to us, the company is confident of achieving a coal production of 300 million tonnes in the next five years. NTPC wants to be self-reliant in its coal requirements,” he said.

At present, the company meets 90% of its annual coal requirements of 160 million tonnes — or 144 million tonnes — from Coal India Ltd. With a total power generation capacity of over 43,000 MW, NTPC has in its fold ten coal blocks with reserves of around 5 billion tonnes and production potential of 100 million tonnes of coal. These blocks and those to be allotted would cater to substantial requirement of the company’s generation capacity. “NTPC is making all efforts to extract these reserves as soon as possible to augment generation,” Choudhury said.

According to coal ministry sources, NTPC will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of coal block allocation to government companies, following the recent Supreme Court order on deallocation of coal linkages. “The government will soon sign agreements for 14 coal blocks for supporting capacity worth 30,000 MW,” sources said.

“Another three coal blocks with reserves of 220 million tonnes will be allotted to an eligible company (which could be NTPC) for mining.”




SAIL chief gets award for excellence in leadership

CS Verma, chairman of public-sector steel maker SAIL, has been awarded the IIM-JRD Tata Award for ‘Excellence in Corporate leadership in Metallurgical Industries’ for the year 2014.

The award was presented by steel and mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Pune on Friday. Verma is the first chairman of SAIL to be chosen for the award.

Tomar said that the government is planning a research centre for steel to benefit the industry.

The IIM-JRD Tata Award for Excellence in Corporate leadership in Metallurgical Industries, was instituted by Tata Steel in 2007, the centenary year of the company and the diamond jubilee year of the Indian Institute of Metals.




GAIL signs MoU with State Oil Company of Republic of Azerbaijan

GAIL (India) Limited has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with State Oil Company of Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). Under the MoU, GAIL and SOCAR intend to jointly pursue LNG opportunities through capacity booking, LNG procurement and promotion of LNG projects globally.

Both companies shall also cooperate in optimization of LNG marketing, sourcing and shipping requirements. In addition, GAIL and SOCAR will pursue business opportunities in upstream assets across the world and joint investment in petrochemical projects.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr B C Tripathi, Chairman and Managing Director, GAIL said “We are happy to enter into this strategic relationship with SOCAR. Skills and strengths of both the parties would be leveraged to explore business opportunities jointly in natural gas and LNG business including new business developments across the gas value chain.”





Coal India Q2 net profit falls by 28% due to higher expenses

Coal India today reported over 28 per cent fall in consolidated net profit to Rs 2,192 crore in the second quarter of this fiscal due to higher expenses.

The world's largest coal miner had clocked a profit of Rs 3,052 crore in the same quarter previous year, the company said in a BSE filing.

Its net profit took a beating as the company's Q2 expenses rose by almost 8 per cent as compared to the flat growth in sales in the review period.

Total expenses increased to Rs 14,144 crore in the July-September quarter of this year from Rs 13,112 crore in the same period last year.

The bulk of the expenses were on employee benefits, on which the company spent Rs 7,286 crore, while contractual expenses went up to Rs 1,626 crore from 1,393 crore.

Its net sales increased marginally to Rs 15,677 crore from Rs 15,411 crore in the review period.

Coal India's production increased by 5 per cent at 102.42 million tonnes during the second quarter of this year, compared ot 97.60 million tonnes. Offtake was 110.42 million tonnes compared with 109 million tonnes in review period.

The miner accounts for over 80 per cent of domestic coal production. Its output stood at 462.42 million tonnes in the previous year.





NMDC posts best performance for any first half of a financial year since inception

Indian iron or giant NMDC has registered a net profit of INR 1,567 crore for the second quarter ended September 30, 2014, against INR 1,318 crore for the corresponding quarter last year, registering a growth of 19 per cent.

The profit for the first half this year was INR 3,482 crore, up 20 per cent, against INR 2,891 crore for the same period last year. The sales income for the second quarter was INR 3,105 crore registering a YoY growth of 25% and for the first half at INR 6,582 crore registering a YoY growth of 23%.

During the second quarter, NMDC iron ore production touched 6.446 million tonnes registering a YoY growth of 9% and in the first half, production was up 12% YoY at 14.389 million tonnes.

The iron ore sale during the second quarter was 7.269 million tonnes registering a YoY growth of 12% and in the first half, iron ore sales were up 15% YoY at 15.859 million tonnes.





NLC Disburses a total Dividend of Rs.422.78 Crore to Government of India

The shareholders of NLC at the 58th Annual General Meeting held on 24th September 2014 at Chennai have declared a final dividend at the rate of 18.00% for the financial year 2013-14, in addition to 10% Interim Dividend paid during March 2014, aggregating to a total dividend of 28% (Previous year 28%). The total dividend payout (including distribution tax) for the year 2013-14 amounts to Rs. 549.59 Crore.

The Final Dividend amount of Rs. 271.79 Crore on the share capital held by the President of India was handed over to Shri Piyush Goyal, the Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) by Shri B.Surender Mohan, Chairman-cum- Managing Director, NLC Limited, in the presence of Shri S.K.Srivastava , Secretary and Shri A.K.Bhalla, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Coal, Government of India at New Delhi.

Taking into account the Interim Dividend of Rs.150.99 Crore paid during March 2014, the total dividend paid to Government of India for the year 2013-14 was Rs.422.78 Crore





Cairn India CEO MayankAshar to get $1.15-mn+plenty of perks

Cairn India will pay Mayank Ashar, its first full-time CEO in two years, a salary of $1.15 million plus perquisites and allowances. Cairn will pay Ashar a base salary of $1 million per annum plus $1.5 lakh in a special allowance/foreign service premium.

On top of this, he will also be entitled to other benefits, perquisites and allowances like housing, car, insurance etc, the company said in a notice to shareholders.

Besides retirement benefits and bonus of a maximum of 200 per cent of basic salary, Cairn will pay Ashar a one-time joining bonus of $1.5 lakh. Cairn has been without a full-time CEO since its long-standing head Rahul Dhir quit in August 2012. The Vedanta Group-controlled firm first appointed P Elango as interim CEO and after he resigned in May, Sudhir Mathur, the Chief Financial Officer, was given additional charge as interim CEO.

Dhir had in 2011-12, his last full year as CEO, drawn a total salary of Rs 14.25 crore. This comprised of Rs 4.95 crore in basic salary, Rs 5.7 crore in perquisites, Rs 3.09 crore in bonus and Rs 4.22 crore in retirement benefits, says the company's annual report. Ashar, 59, will take over as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company with effect from 17 November, 2014 for a period of five years, Cairn said in the notice through which it sought shareholders' nod for the appointment.

‘He has over 36 years of rich and exhaustive experience in international oil and gas industry through various senior management and top leadership roles in leading global companies such as British Petroleum, Petro-Canada and Suncor Energy. Ashar brings a rare mix of driving corporate strategy and on-ground execution,’ Cairn said in the notice.

He also served as the Chief Executive Officer & President at Irving Oil Limited. With Elango's resignation, the entire senior team of Cairn Energy, the former parent of Cairn India, had exited since Vedanta Resources Plc took control in 2010.

Elango was the second senior executive that Vedanta lost across its Indian businesses this year. P K Mukherjee, the Executive Director of SesaSterliteLtd's iron ore business, resigned on 28 March.





Naveen Jindal’s JSPL Q2 profit melts 12%

Jindal Steel and Power Ltd on Tuesday said its consolidated profit after tax for the July-September quarter declined by 12 per cent to Rs 400 crore on higher depreciation and interest outgo.

The Naveen Jindal-led firm had reported Rs 455 crore PAT in the same quarter of the last fiscal.

'JSPL grew its consolidated second quarter turnover by 6 per cent year-on-year. EBITDA in Q2, FY15 at consolidated level also increased by 10 per cent... However, due to 53 per cent increase in burden of interest and depreciation, PAT for Q2 FY15 was lower by 12 per cent,' JSPL said in a statement.

The cash profit of the company increased however from Rs 907 crore in Q2, FY14 to Rs 1,308 crore in Q2, FY15 — a net increase of 44 per cent, it added.

JSPL's turnover rose to Rs 5,143 crore during the quarter from Rs 4,852 crore a year ago despite 'several unfavourable' developments such as de-allocation of coal blocks, reduction in steel demand due to monsoon and difficulty in importing raw materials.

Turnover from the steel business dipped by 9 per cent, but, power business reported a 39 per cent growth and its Oman steel unit clocked a 32 per cent increase. JSPL's coking coal mine in Australia, however, continued to make losses due to operational reasons as well as low price levels.

Depreciation cost of the company during July-September quarter went up by 50 per cent to Rs 650 crore, while interest outgo increased by 57 per cent to Rs 599 crore from the year ago period.

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