State-run monopoly Coal India Ltd is considering floating a joint venture with the country’s top power producer NTPC to set up plants at mines that do not have transportation access and acquiring private stressed assets.
The two state-run companies have held talks and are in the process of finalising terms of the joint venture after which a memorandum of understanding is likely to be signed, sources close to the development said.
The proposed joint venture will look at setting up power plants close to mines that do not have coal evacuation infrastructure. “There are coal mines like Pachra and Sanghamitra in the Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) area that are read to produce but cannot be operationalised since there is no evacuation facility. The planned joint venture with NTPC will help set up power plants at mine mouth for optimum utilisation of the mines. A team from NTPC has already conducted site survey. The joint venture will also look into the possibilities of acquiring stressed private assets on the block,” a senior company official said. Coal India is sitting on a cash reserve of over Rs 40,000 crore.
An NTPC official confirmed the development. The contours of the joint venture are likely to be finalised soon, he told ET on the condition of anonymity. NTPC has in the last three months floated two tenders calling private developers and lenders to offer their stressed coal-based and hydro projects.
The company is evaluating three projects — Jaiprakash Power Ventures 1320-mw, Nigrie power project in Madhya Pradesh, Jaiprakash Power Ventures 1980-mw Bara plant and the 1,200-mw power project at Angul in Odisha promoted by Jindal India Thermal Ltd.
NTPC is also considering to be part of a proposed joint venture with Power Finance Corp and Rural Electrification Corp that proposes to bid for stressed assets that will go to bankruptcy courts.
While power plants with a combined capacity of about 20,000-mw are already at various stages of bankruptcy proceedings, the new norms of Reserve Bank of India on ‘Resolution of Stressed Assets – Revised Framework’ issued on February 12 that mandate banks to classify even one-day delay in debt servicing as default are expected to impact about 80,000-mw capacity. Read More