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Mines cancellation NTPC to seek apex court clarification

NTPC will approach the Supreme Court for clarification on cancellation of two mines – the Tallaipali mines in Chhattisgarh and Dulanga mines in Odisha.

Addressing mediapersons, Chairman and Managing Director Arup Roy Choudhary said the status of the two mines were similar to the Pakri-Barwadih coal block in Jharkhand, which the court had cleared.

He said the Supreme Court had taken into consideration mines that were government-run and not having any joint venture with the private sector, while clearing the Jharkhand mine. On the impact of the mine cancellation and NTPC’s plans to acquire power plants, he said the company had shortlisted plants totalling about 8000 MW capacity and the list was with KPMG for evaluation and recommendations.

Asked whether NTPC would consider plants that were expensive and in the range of about Rs. 6 crore per MW, he said it would still work if land, power purchase agreements (PPA), cost of coal, fuel linkage, water and other factors fell in place.

However, he hastened to add that everybody including banks and promoters should be prepared for a haircut.

On the timeline for acquisitions, Choudhary said they would be in this fiscal. The company was ready to provision Rs. 6,000-10,000 crore as equity. Seventy per cent funds for projects could be sourced through debt, he pointed out.

Responding to coal shortage at NTPC power plants, he said scattered rainfall and shortfall in hydro generation had led to higher generation at the coal plants.

The shortfall would continue as coal consumption had risen by 20 per cent during the last 2-3 months, he added.

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