OMC pulls out from coalfields infrastructure project

Last Updated: Sat, Feb 16, 2013 04:33 hrs

The Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), which was supposed to develop common rail, road and water facilities for Angul-Meramundli-Talcher coal bearing area in association with Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) has pulled out of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) questioning the viability of its investment.

Participating in a high level meeting on this Rs 6,000 crore project recently, state industries secretary, Parag Gupta, said, due to want of information on financial and commercial viability of the project, OMC has expressed its unwillingness to participate in the SPV. Therefore, the SPV, now to be renamed as Brahmani Railways, would be a wholly owned subsidiary of Idco with a startup capital of Rs 10 crore.

OMC stated that since the commercial and financial feasibility of the project was not finalised it was unable to participate in the project. Besides, it apprehended that formation of JV between two public sector undertakings might lead to slow progress of work.

However, the state-run miner said, it was willing to provide financial assistance to the SPV in form of inter-corporate loan to Idco. The SPV was to be developed as 50:50 joint venture between OMC and Idco.

Sources said, since OMC has already lost coal blocks allotted to it, therefore it did not show interest to invest in the project.

The Union coal ministry last year had de-allocated Mandakini-B and Utkal-D coal mines allotted to OMC citing inordinate delays in development of the mines. Recently, the state government has made fresh recommendations to the Centre for grant of another coal mine to OMC.

The proposed common corridor will support 10 coal blocks operating in the Talcher Coalfields under the command area of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL). The development of the 143-km corridor is estimated to cost Rs 6,000 crore and it is expected to handle coal traffic in excess of 100 million tonne annually.

The proposed corridor will be connected to rail heads at three locations – Jharpada, Angul and Budhapanka. The common corridor will have multiple entry and exit points and no surface crossing. Besides, flyovers have also been proposed to avoid cross movements at junction stations. More than 50 industries in sectors like steel, aluminium and power sectors are expected to be the beneficiaries of the proposed corridor.

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