Leading power and steel companies preparing to bid for coal blocks told the coal ministry on Saturday to desist from seeking an indicative price offer during the qualification stage and all eligible bidders should be allowed to bid in the e-auction process.
If this is not done then due to fear of elimination based on indicative offers, the bidders would be compelled to bid aggressively in the technical bid stage to qualify for the financial stage, which could defeat the objective of an e-auction.
At a meeting convened by top coal ministry officials on Saturday to allay apprehensions on the bidding process, CEOs of leading power and steel companies also cautioned that “casual or non-serious players” can bid aggressively and put a high bid setting a benchmark for genuine bidders. But eventually these casual players may exit from the bids, which may further embarrass the bidding process.
They also asked the coal ministry to share the entire geological data of all coal blocks to be auctioned to help them “take an informed decision.” “What is the guarantee that after winning the bids, we would have the desired quality and quantity of coal from these blocks? Also we should be told the Gross Calorific Value of the blocks being put on the block. This is because for our plant operations we need to know the heat value of the fuel to be exploited from them,” a CEO said at the meeting.