State-run electricity producer NTPC Ltd said on Monday that it has cancelled a contract worth Rs 23,000 crore with Thiess Minecs due to delays in development and operation of the Pakri-Barwadih captive coal block in Jharkhand.
“Thiess Minecs failed to make any headway despite the fact that development period of the contract was extended twice,” the statement said. The firm was appointed as a mine developer and operator for Pakri-Barwadih block on November 30, 2010, after a global tender.
NTPC said the issue was brought to the notice of Bruce Munro, MD of Thiess Pty, on many occasions and a showcause notice was also issued on July 10, 2012, with no response from the firm.
To seek a way out, NTPC’s top brass called on the Australian Minister for mining during his visit to India and appraised about total inaction by Thiess Minecs.
Finally, NTPC terminated the contract with Thiess Minecs on May 7. Leighton said NTPC has already called $17.3 million worth of bank guarantees issued by Thiess Minecs and added that it will initiate legal proceedings to recover the guarantees, as well as against the notice, according to an agency report.