Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Ltd has requested the central government for a coal block in Chhattisgarh for a proposed thermal power plant in the eastern State.
The request comes as the environment ministry is refusing to give the green signal for coal mining in the Morga II block due to environment issues. Due to this delay, GMDC's thermal power generation plans are likely to go haywire.
Mr VS Gadhvi MD of GMDC told Business Line that “We are still hopeful of an early decision in this regard.”
He said the ministry of coal appeared convinced of GMDC's request but no reply has been received for an alternative coal block.
Nearly five years ago, the listed company, essentially a mining major, was allotted coal blocks in Chhattisgarh (Morga II) and Orissa (Naini). In 2008, it had planned to set up three power plants in a joint venture to generate 4,500 megawatt using indigenous coal based thermal power technology in the two coal rich States. The total investment planned was nearly INR 20,000 crore.
It was a unique business model in which GMDC would provide assured coal supplies to private parties who would, in turn, ensure supply of a mandated 2,750 MW to Gujarat as its share by 2012.
The Naini coal block had been jointly allotted to GMDC and the Puducherry Industrial Investment Promotion Corporation.
Mr Gadhvi further said that “We have got possession of land there and the Government of India is now carrying out exploration. After its completion, we will apply for environmental clearance for mining coal in this block as well.”
Morga-II and Naini have mineable coal reserves of 350 million tonnes and 250 million tonnes respectively, spread over 21 square kilometer and 10 square kilometer areas.(sourced from BL)