PowerMin says efforts being made to resolve coal quality issue

PowerMin says efforts being made to resolve coal quality issue New Delhi: Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday efforts were being made to resolve the "contentious" issue of coal quality between NTPC and Coal India and said his Ministry will hold meetings with the Coal Ministry on the matter.

"There are issues with regard to quality of coal...With regard to outstanding dues both on our side and on the side of Coal Ministry. It is important to resolve that and I intend to do that post looking at the note which they (Coal Ministry) have sent," Scindia told reporters here.

"With regard to CIL and NTPC, the Ministry of Coal has responded to a note with details. We will now study that note and their responses and I propose to have an internal meeting between the officials of Coal Ministry and officials of Power Ministry to see if we can resolve the pending issues expeditiously," the Minister said.

Coal India (CIL) and state-run NTPC are having differences over the issue of quality of coal.

The Power Minister called on Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal today to deliberate on various issues, including coal supply, power purchase agreement and coal linkages, among others.

"We have discussed a number of issues today...We discussed the issue such as doing away with the necessity of a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) for signing FSA (fuel supply agreement)...The issue of restoration of coal linkage for North Karanpura," Scindia said.

Jaiswal also said that both the ministers held discussions on various issues.

Some of the issues have been resolved in today's meeting, while in the case of remaining "we are hopeful that we would soon be in a position to resolve them," the Coal Minister said.

"I am hopeful that within a month or so, the issues would be resolved," he said.

However, Jaiswal refused to comment on the issues which were discussed in today's meeting.

The Power Ministry has recently circulated a draft cabinet note on coal supply issue, inviting comments from other ministries on the matter.

NTPC had refused to sign the fuel supply pacts with CIL saying the quality of coal supplied by the coal PSU is poor and could even cause damage to its machinery. The company added that it was not ready to accept inferior quality coal.

According to NTPC officials, the power plants needed coal of minimum 3,100 kilocalories.

They said, however, CIL at times supplied coal with average heat generating capacity of about 2,100 kilocalories.

Earlier this month, CIL had snapped supplies at a few NTPC stations, alleging the power producer was not making regular payments to it.

PTI