Coal blocks for steel and power sectors

Vol 10, PW 8 (10 Aug 06) News in Brief

So worried are authorities about the power shortage sweeping India that the coal ministry has been ordered to speed up bid invitations for captive coal mines for the power and steel sectors.

On 19th July the powerful Energy Coordination Committee headed by PM Manmohan Singh instructed the coal ministry to immediately invite fresh applications for all coal blocks for which detailed exploration has been completed. Coal ministry mandarins were also told to clearly mention that preference would be given to the power and steel sectors and that others would be considered only after the needs of these two sectors are fully met.

Within the power sector, priority should be accorded to projects with more than 500-MW capacity. In the steel sector, priority will be given to factories with a capacity of more than 1m t/y.

The coal ministry has also been asked to finalise by 19th September the allocation of 20 coal and seven lignite blocks for which bids have already been invited.