India's state-owned power generator NTPC Ltd is still awaiting re-allocation of five of its coal mines allocations for which were cancelled earlier due to delays in production.
The cancelled coal blocks, in addition to the other three awarded to the company, hold the key to the company's future fuel securing strategy. NTPC consumes around 120 MT coal annually to fire its 36,000 Mw power generation capacity.
If re-allocated, the blocks would boost the plans of the company to more than double generation capacity to 75,000 Megawatt by ramping up in-house coal production to 47 million tonne per annum, around a fourth of its coal requirement over five years.
"The coal ministry has assured us of giving the blocks back. But a formal communication from the ministry is yet to come," NTPC Chairman Arup Roy Choudhury told Business Standard.
The five cancelled blocks - Chatti Bariatu, Chatti Bariatu (South), Kerandari, Brahmani and Chichiro Patsimal - have combined geological reserves of three billion tonne (BT).
The first three blocks are meant to supply fuel to two power plants of 1,320 Mw capacity each - Barh in
Bihar and Tanda stage II in Uttar Pradesh.
The other two blocks are meant to feed the expansion of Kahalgaon power project in Bihar and Farakka in West Bengal.
NTPC was awarded eight coal blocks over past seven years with reserves of around five billion tonne (BT). All these were expected to come into production between April 2008 and March 2012. However, not a single block has commenced production so far.