Kolkata: Easing its rigid stance as power demand peaks this summer, power major NTPC has resumed joint sampling of coal with Coal India Ltd, seeking full load supply to its power plants.
"NTPC discontinued participating in the joint sampling process for the last two days and senior officials from Farakka and Kahelgoan met us and assured to continue the process till a third party sampling agency is in place," Eastern Coalfields General Manager Niladri Roy told PTI.
NTPC had discontinued the process following disagreement over the quality of coal after joint sampling began in April.
Failing to reach a consensus on joint sampling, Coal India had engaged the newly formed national laboratory, Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research (CIMFR), Dhanbad, for neutral coal quality certification for supply to NTPC plants in the east.
"They have taken the sample and we expect to get the report shortly," Roy said.
CIL and NTPC had locked horns over coal quality for over one year, but it came to a head in April after the former stopped supplies to eastern region power plants over dispute on dues.
CIL sources said the total dues had risen to around Rs 1,100 crore now and wanted a firm committment on repayment to resume full-load coal supply.
Currently, CIL resumed supply of 50-60 percent of coal from Rajmahal to Farraka and Kahelgoan plants after the ministry intervened and stopped Ranigunj coal.
The two power plants have a combined capacity of close to 5000 MW.
According to ECL, NTPC was paying for Rajmahal coal at Rs 360 a tonne against the notified price of Rs 670 a tonne.
NTPC was paying a price based on its own internal assessment of the quality of coal, Roy had said earlier.