Coal supplies from domestic sources are not enough to meet the consumption requirements. With more and more power generation capacities coming up on stream, miners like Gujarat government promoted Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Ltd has to look at cross boarder geographies to ensure uninterrupted coal supplies to the domestic clients, Mr VS Gadhavi MD of the company during an interaction with Rutam Vora.
Q - What is your take on coal prices and coal shortage in India?
A - In the current market condition, there is an increase in the overall fuel cost. This may hurt bigger industries and their supplies might get affected. The coal demand is huge for range of industries, but local availability is scarce. This causes high dependency on imported coal, prices of which is subject to international economic fluctuations. However, lignite prices may show some stability with short-term fluctuations. At GMDC we make every effort to ensure save our consumers from price hike. So far, we have been successful in doing so.
Q - Looking at the current market situation and rising coal demand for power generation, are you looking to increase mining activity?
A - In the year 2010-11 we mined 10.23 million tonnes of lignite from our five coal fields in Gujarat. The availability of coal will improve further once we get an approval from the ministry of environment and forests to increase mining at Mata-No-Madh and Bhavnagar coal mines. The demand for coal is huge and we have to look for every possibility to cater to this demand.
We are already in tie-up with the Pondicherry Industrial Promotion and Development Corporation to mine the entire Naini coal block in Orissa. The field survey will start soon. Further, we are also planning to bid for the coal fields in Jharkhand. This field is expected to have about 200-300 million tonnes of coal reserves. Most of our coal supplies will go to state power utilities for power generation purpose.