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Coal India floats maiden tender for 2.4 mn tn imports amid surging power demand


Mint  

 

    NEW DELHI, June 9 -- In a historic first, state-owned Coal India has floated a tender seeking to import 2.41 million tn of the fuel as power demand in the country soars amid an unprecedented heatwave.

    The miner said the coal being sourced on behalf of state generating companies (gencos) and independent power plants (IPPs) is based on the indents received from them. It has sought deliveries for the July-September period of the current fiscal.

    The move follows the Centre's emphasis on building coal stocks to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the country, avoiding outages that took place during April-May.

    Coal ministry had on 1 June directed power generation companies to start process of coal imports by 3 June, failing which they would allocated only 70% of their requirement of domestic coal.

    On Tuesday, Union power minister R.K. Singh told reporters that almost all states have started the process of importing coal. He also said coal inventories have been improving as imports have started to flow in.

    Domestic power demand has been on an upswing as India faces a severe heatwave. On 8 June, the maximum power demand met hit a record 209.809 GW. The peak shortage was 936 MW.

    Coal stocks in the 173 power plants tracked by the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) were at 23.88 million tonne as of 7 June, which is 36% of the required 66.96 million tonne. As many as 80 plants running on domestic coal and eight imported coal-based power plants are surviving on critical stocks, which is less than 25% of required supplies.

    The government had nominated Coal India as the central agency to augment supplies to state gencos and IPPs through imports at a time when demand for is high.

    The board of the public sector major on 2 June had approved issuing two international tenders for sourcing coal, a short term and a medium-term tender.

    There is a provision in the tender to accommodate a variation of above or below 30% of the bid quantity. Coal being sought is 5000 GAR (gross as received) thermal grade coal, the company said in a statement.

    The current short-term tender for import of coal, for Q2 of FY23, is source agnostic, which means that the coal can be sourced from any country.

    Though coal import is an uncharted terrain for CIL, within a week of receiving indents from seven state gencos and 19 IPPs, for a total of 2.416 MTs of coal, the company on a war footing has finalized and floated the tender.

    The last date for the receipt of bids is 29 June. There is an option of pre-bid meeting on 14 June to seek clarification on any nuances of the tender.

    After the price discovery, CIL will immediately execute a contract with the successful bidder for supply of coal. Then the state-owned coal miner shall enter into agreements with state gencos and IPPs to whom coal has to be supplied.

    The coal imported shall be routed through nine ports located in east and west coasts of the country. The successful agency, selected through the bidding process, shall deliver coal at the doorstep of the power plants of state gencos and IPPs. Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from MINT. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.com

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