CIL examining proposals to acquire mines abroad

CIL examining proposals to acquire mines abroad New Delhi: State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) is examining a number of proposals it has received in response to the bids it invited from bankers and interested parties for acquiring assets abroad.

The acquisition will help the world's largest dry-fuel producer meet coal shortages as it battles problems in enhancing output.

"A number of proposals has been received and are being evaluated based on their marketing potential," according to an official source.

Pursuant to the Government of India's guidelines to acquire raw material assets abroad, a notice inviting proposals offering overseas coal assets to CIL was floated on February 27.

The bids were invited by Coal India Videsh, set up with the intent of enhancing the country's energy security.

Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal had earlier said that acquisition of coal mines overseas should be done in an aggressive manner to meet the country's energy requirements.

In order to tide over the fossil fuel shortages, the government is also proposing to import coal.

Meanwhile, CIL has already finalised bids for further drilling of its twin mines in Mozambique.

Two coal blocks - A1 and A2 - at Motaize, in Tete Province of Mozambique, are spread over 200 sq km.

CIL has proposed a capital outlay of Rs 25,400 crore in the 12th Five Year Plan, plus an ad-hoc provision of Rs 35,000 crore to acquire coal assets abroad and develop the acquired coal blocks in Mozambique, according to the coal PSU.

The capital expenditure for current fiscal has been envisaged at Rs 5,000 crore, along with additional ad-hoc provision of Rs 4,000 crore to acquire coal assets abroad and develop coal blocks in Mozambique, it said.

The demand-supply gap of coal was 161.5 million tonne (MT) last fiscal and is estimated to go up to 200 MT in 2016-17.

PTI