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'Blended' coal likely for coastal power plants Edit
'Blended' coal likely for coastal power plants
The Economic Times
Date 2007-01-06
As the number of coastal plants increases in comparison to pit-head plants in the 4000 MW ultra mega power project package, the government is considering revisiting the policy of depending on imported coal. It is, instead, considering shifting to blended coal - a blend of domestic and imported coal - for coastal projects. If the government does finally decide to go with blended coal, then only two of the coastal ultra mega power projects - Mundra (Gujarat)and Krishnapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)- will be fired by imported coal. On last count, there will be at least six coastal ultra mega power projects. Of these, the Mundra project has been awarded to Tata Power, while bidding is on for Krishnapatnam . It is likely then that the projects at Chayyur (Tamil Nadu), Nagapatnam (Tamil Nadu), Tadri or an alternative site in Karnataka and Girye in Maharashtra will be considered to be run on a blend of domestic-imported coal. The government is looking at 40:60 or 50:50 ratio of imported-to-domestic coal. Given the results of the bidding for the Mundra power project, the power ministry argues that it is not tariff that is behind the rethink on imported coal. For Mundra, the tariff ranged from Rs 2.26 to Rs 3.70 per unit - with four of the five bids quoting tariff less than Rs 2.80 per unit. However, it would seem that given the volatility of the international coal market, moving to a blended coal approach would have considerable price advantage. It would also ensure energy security whereby the country's power needs would not be solely dependent on fuel imports.