Reliance Power Ltd today moved the Delhi High Court seeking permission to continue mining coal in excess of the restriction, placed by the Centre, on coal production from its Moher and Moher-Amlohri blocks in Madhya Pradesh.
The company told a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice V P Vaish if it was not allowed to continue mining after reaching the 16 million tonne per annum cap fixed by the government, then it will have to shut down its 3,960 mega watt Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP).
Till March 6, it had mined 15.34 million tonnes of coal from the two blocks, Reliance said while seeking permission to mine “such quantity of coal during the financial year 2015-16 that would be sufficient to fully meet the requirements of its UMPP”.
Reliance has also sought that the 2009 mining plan which allowed the company to mine 20 million tonne coal per annum from the two blocks, be implemented.
Apart from the plant, even the mine would have to be shut down if the permission is not granted, it has said and added that restarting of operations in the plant and mines would involve “significant mobilisation and demobilisation of resources” which would be economically detrimental.
Meanwhile, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain told the court that the government was considering the grievances of the company and will soon come to a decision which could be in its favour.
The court, thereafter, listed the matter for further hearing on March 18.
Reliance in its application has said shutting of its UMPP would affect 42 crore people in seven states who are supplied electricity procured from it by 14 distributors.
Buying alternative power at an average price of Rs 5 per kWh would place an additional burden of over Rs 1000 crore on state exchequer on a monthly basis, it said in its plea.
Reliance has claimed that it supplies about 3,722 mega watt power at a tariff of Rs 1.196 per kWh.
The application was filed in Reliance’s petition against the Centre’s May 7, 2015 decision to cancel one of the three coal blocks allocated to its Sasan UMPP.
The government had justified the cancellation saying the unit’s coal requirement could be met by the other two mines, Moher and Moher-Amlohri extension.
Defending its decision, the government had said Reliance on several occasions had represented that its Sasan unit required only 16 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) which could be easily met by the two blocks and hence, the third block – Chhatrasal – was deallocated.
Sasan project is an integrated power plant-cum-coal mining project at a single location, involving an investment of over Rs 27,000 crore, the company had said. PTI