CoalMin intervenes in CIL-NTPC dispute

The coal ministry has intervened in the dispute between Coal India Limited and NTPC to ensure that about 5,000 MW of power supply is not jeopardised into the national grid.

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi | Published:April 6, 2013 3:00 am

The coal ministry has intervened in the dispute between Coal India Limited and NTPC to ensure that about 5,000 MW of power supply is not jeopardised into the national grid.

CIL subsidiary Eastern Coalfields Limited had stopped coal supply to NTPC from March 1 since the latter had refused to pay outstanding dues of about Rs 1,000 crore. NTPC has argued it was receiving stones and boulders in the coal from the world’s biggest coal mining company. The coal ministry has asked CIL to resume supply to ensure NTPC can keep its power plans running but at the same time it has suggested that India’s largest electricity generation company should start clearing some of its dues. The Railways have started loading wagons from one of the mines whose coal quality was held suspect by NTPC,Rajmahal mines since yesterday.

“I don’t know who is saying that supply to NTPC has been discontinued. CIL has been asked to ensure a minimum of 50 per cent fuel supply. Both the PSUs should iron out their differences amicably so that the issue gets resolved,” coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said.

This stand off between the two giants has threatened electricity production of around 4500 MW of NTPC while two of its plants — Kahalgaon and Farakka would be hit hard because of acute fuel insecurity.

Justifying CIL’s position,the company’s chairman S Narsing Rao said NTPC has begun “resorting to arm-twisting tactics” on fuel supply and is possibly trying to dictate terms. “If they (NTPC) are so concerned,then why aren’t they doing joint sampling mechanism at the pitheads as enshrined in the Fuel Supply Agreements? We have time and again expressed our readiness for it. What stops them? They cannot arbitrarily stop payments and impact out resources,” Rao told The Indian Express over telephone from Kolkata.

Besides,ever since the introduction of the Gross Calorific Value (GCV) system for pricing coal,NTPC has been getting coal cheaper from ECL’s Rajmahal mine.

“Earlier the price under the Useful Heat Value (UHV) mechanism was Rs 950 a tonne and after CGV system they are getting it at Rs 750,” Rao said.

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