Acquire coal mines abroad to meet nation's energy need: Jaiswal
New Delhi: Amid the country facing acute coal shortages, the government on Wednesday said acquisition of coal mines overseas should be done in an aggressive manner to meet the energy requirements.
The statement comes at a time when the government, to tide over the shortages of the fossil fuel, is proposing to import coal and pooling domestic and international prices.
"We need to be aggressive in this regard (acquiring coal mines abroad) for long-term energy security point of view," Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said at India Electricity Conference here.
He said the efforts by his ministry have resulted in the acquisition of coal mines in Mozambique by Coal India, while private firms have been acquiring mines in countries such as Australia, South Africa and South America.
Coal India Africana Limitada (CIAL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIL, had won a five-year licence for exploration and development of mines in Mozambique in August, 2009.
Two coal blocks - A1 and A2 - at Motaize, in Tete Province of Mozambique, are spread over 200 sq km and their exploration may take over two years, as per CIL.
In an effort to reduce the widening demand supply gap of coal in the country, CIL is scouting for coal mines overseas. The production from the twin mines is scheduled from 2015.
The demand-supply gap of coal was 161.5 million tonnes (MT) in the last fiscal and is likely to touch 185 MT over the next five years.