NTPC has appointed a joint venture of Thriveni Earthmovers and Sainik Mining to develop a key Jharkhand coal deposit into a 15 million tonne per annum mine and run it.
The contract to develop the Pakri-Barwadih block, which had earlier been assigned to an Indian subsidiary of Australian company Thiess, is worth close to Rs 27,000 crore.
Thriveni Earthmovers holds 51% of Thriveni-Sainik, with Sainik Mining owning the rest. It won the contract by quoting the lowest amount to develop the filed, beating a dozen others including Adani Enterprises and AMR India in the process.
With the Narendra Modi government keen on seeing the over Rs 2 lakh crore auction of coal blocks translate quickly into actual production, several more of such mine developer and operator opportunities are expected soon. “This JV will be participating in other such opportunities as Coal India, SAIL and NTPC tender out new mines,” said B Prabhakaran, managing director of Thriveni Earthmovers.
The company is a contractor to several Odisha-based iron ore companies.
According to NTPC’s Director (Finance) Kulamani Biswal, the contract at Rs 850 a tonne for coal is cheaper than what NTPC would have paid, considering the escalation costs as per it older contract with Thiess. Biswas told that the power major, which has ten coal blocks now, would be tendering out four more coal blocks for development soon.
Back in November 2010, NTPC had announced with great fanfare its Rs 23,000 crore, 27-year contract to Thiess Mines. The latter though ran into stiff local resistance which, according to former executives of the company, could have been resolved if NTPC, which was to hand over the land to them, hadn’t been so rigid about what it was offering the affected people in its proposal. In May 2014, NTPC cancelled the contract. Thiess has appealed to an arbitration tribunal.
Thriveni-Sainik is expected to start production by next calendar year, said Prabhakaran. Source– The Economic Times