Essar Energy gets provisional approval for Mahan coal block
New Delhi: London-listed Essar Energy plc on Monday said it has received provisional forest approval for its Mahan coal block in Madhya Pradesh.
Announcing preliminary results for the 15 month-period ended March 31, the company said a Group of Ministers has provisionally approved forest clearance for its Mahan coal block.
Operations at the 380 MW Vadinar P1 gas fired power station have commended, taking the company's total power capacity to 2,800 MW, the statement said adding 1,580 MW installed capacity has been added since 2011.
"However, regulatory issues continued to cause delays, notably with regard to Government clearances to begin mining operations at the coal blocks previously allocated to Essar Energy's Mahan and Tori power projects," it said.
"So far, some improvements have been seen, including reports that our own Mahan coal block received provisional stage 1 forest clearance last month from the Group of Ministers on coal," the statement said adding the decision has not been conveyed to the company as it has to get a final clearance from the Cabinet.
Essar Energy, 77 percent-owned by Mumbai-based conglomerate Essar Group, said it has processes in place to purchase coal from other sources, both international and domestic, in the short to medium terms until these issues are resolved.
"Longer term, the logic of investing in the Indian energy sector remains, given ongoing large deficits of generation relative to demand," it said.
The company will continue its dialogue with state and central governments to ensure the approval process does not lose momentum, the statement added.
Essar said it has also commissioned the phase 1 expansion of its flagship Vadinar refinery in Gujarat enhancing capacity to 375,000 barrels a day, from 300,000 previously.
This has come together with a sharp uplift in complexity from 6.1 to 11.8, giving the capability to produce high value fuels from some of the world's toughest, heaviest crude oils with a corresponding increase in margins.
"A further optimisation project, taking capacity to 405,000 bpd, was commissioned in June 2012, four months ahead of schedule," it said. "Essar Energy is now well positioned to take advantage of rising demand for high value refined fuels in India and internationally".