NTPC to surrender 3 coal blocks due to high land acquisition cost, geo-mining constraints

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Bhubaneswar: Public sector power producer National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has decided to surrender three coal blocks – Mandakini-B, Banai & Bhalumuda allocated to it, due to delay in development in the last two years.

While, Mandakini-B coal block is facing issues like local resistance and high land acquisition cost, development of Banai and Bhalumunda blocks are stalled due to geo-mining constraints and likely less percentage of coal extraction.

“Considering the delay in coal block development activities since the last two years  due to villagers’ resistance for their unreasonable demands for land compensation, employment, etc. in Mandakini-B coal block and due to geomining constraints & likely less percentage of coal extraction in Banai & Bhalumuda coal blocks, NTPC has decided to surrender all these three blocks. Accordingly, NTPC approached Ministry of Coal (MOC) on 26th December 2020 for surrendering these three coal” NTPC has stated before the parliamentary financial committee on public undertakings.

NTPC has spent Rs.87 crore and Rs. 62 crore for the development of Mandakini-B  and Bonai  coal blocks as on 30 September  2020.

The delay in developing Coal blocks is likely to derail the PSU’s target to meet 40% its coal requirement by 2030.

To meet this target, NTPC has been allocated total ten coal blocks with an envisaged peak production capacity of 103 million tonnes per annum by 2028-29.

Apart from the above three, the other seven coal blocks allotted to NTPC  are Pakri-Barwadih,  Dulanga , Talaipalli, Kerandari, Chatti-Baraitu , Badam  and Banhardih.

Out of the these coal blocks, NTPC has commenced coal production from Dulanga and Talaipalli and Pakri-Barwadih coal mines. For ChattiBariatu & Kerandari coal mines, coal production will be started in the FY 21-22 after the appointment of mine developer-cum-operators. In the rest of the mines, block development activities are going on and NTPC expects to achieve the respective schedule of the Government of India for the start of coal production, NTPC said in a response to the Parliamentary Financial Committee on Public Undertakings.

Dedicated subsidiary to develop coal blocks

For a focused approach for development and operation of these coal mines, NTPC has incorporated a dedicated subsidiary in August, 2019 – NTPC Mining Limited (NML) and has requested the Coal Ministry to transfer these blocks to NML.

The Ministry of Coal (MOC) has issued “No objection”, on 16.12.2020, for transfer of Pakri-Barwadih mine from NTPC to NTPC Mining Ltd. However, the vesting order of mining area land is still awaited. For balance mines, the matter is under examination at Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Law & Justice. MOC, through MOL&J, is now taking opinion from ASGI.

 

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