New Delhi: The Steel Ministry has pitched for two Jharkhand-based coal blocks - Aluara and Parbatpur North - for allocation to Rashtriya Ispat Nigam (RINL) from among the 17 to be given to PSUs on the dispensation route.
"I shall be grateful if you would kindly consider early allotment of at least one or two blocks in favour of RINL which are earmarked for PSEs by Ministry of Coal, preferably Aluara and Parbatpur North," Steel Secretary D R S Chaudhary has written to his coal counterpart S K Srivastava.
Aluara and Parbatpur North are both coking coal blocks based in Jharkhand. Aluara is an under ground block having an estimated 350 million tonnes of geological reserve. Details on Parbatpur North could not be immediately ascertained.
Chaudhary has argued that the state-owned steel maker needs coal blocks as it is all set to double its capacity from 3 mtpa to 6.3 mtpa. Necessity would go up further as capacity of the firm would expands to 20 mtpa in phases during the next 10 years.
"Coking coal is an essential raw material for production of steel. However, RINL does not have any captive coal mines. It is a strategic requirement to reduce dependence on imports and lower production cost," he said.
RINL also generates around 250 MW power for captive use. It has to source coal for that from Coal India subsidiaries.
In December 2012, Coal Ministry had invited proposals from the PSUs for allotment of 17 coal blocks. Cumulatively, these blocks have an estimated 8.45 billion tonnes reserves.
In all, it has received around 300 applications, 235 from the power sector and 38 from mining and metal firms. Following this, an inter-ministerial group, under chairmanship of Coal Secretary, had met last week, but failed to decide the fate of these blocks. It would meet again shortly.