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Coal India-NTPC dispute: Full coal supply to be resumed

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 21:00

New Delhi: After days of intense stand-off over quality of fuel with NTPC, Coal India Ltd on Wednesday said it will resume full supplies even as the power producer continued to raise the quality issue.

Coal India's eastern subsidiary had last week threatened to snap coal supplies to NTPC after the power producer refused to honour bills saying that the quality of fuel supplied was not up to its satisfaction.

After government intervention, CIL had restored 50 percent supplies pending resolution of the issue.

The heads of the two state-run companies on Wednesday met Coal Secretary S K Srivastava to find an amicable solution to the crisis.

"Yes we have started (supply of coal to NTPC). Ministry advised us to immediately restore (the coal supply) from fourth (April) onwards. Incidentally, there were some pending repair and maintenance issues which are being attended and once that is done it will be 100 percent (supply of coal)," CIL Chairman and Managing Director S Narsing Rao said here.

When asked how are the both companies going to take forward the issue of pending dues of over Rs 2,000 crore which NTPC owes to CIL, Rao said, "We have already discussed."

However, he refused to elaborate on it.

When asked about the pending dues NTPC has cleared, Rao said, "I have no idea."

Commenting on the coal quality issue, NTPC CMD Arup Roy Choudhury said, "We will be paying as per the calorific value. If there is any such dispute...We will be going to resolve it very soon."

Choudhury said: "We have both agreed that we will pay them as per the calorific value of coal which is done through our mutually acceptable sampling."

However, Rao said: "Whatever is the actual coal that is being mined we will bill accordingly."

On third party sampling of coal, CIL said it has already been initiated and the mechanism would be put in place by either June or July.

Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL) officials had earlier said NTPC had made payments of Rs 150 crore against their dues of Rs 1,000 crore. ECL had stopped coal supply to NTPC from January 1 but later agreed to joint sampling and resumed supply.

"The total dues will be close to Rs 2,000 crore accumulated to Eastern Coalfields and Northern Coalfields. We hope to recover the dues," Narsing Rao had said earlier.

Meanwhile, NTPC CMD on Wednesday denied media reports that the power major was against the price pooling mechanism.

"NTPC is not against pool pricing.... Let's see as it (price pooling) comes, we will work it out," he said.


First Published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - 19:03
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