State-owned NTPC has sought the advise of consultancy arm of Coal India, CMPDIL, to surrender its two coal blocks as the mines were discovered to be economically and technically unviable. The Banai and Bhalumuda coal blocks in Chhattisgarh are adjacent to each other and facing difficulty in dumping of overburden as the area surrounding the blocks is coal bearing, an official said. "It was informed to NTPC that if the blocks are found economically and technically unviable, then there is a provision in CBDPA (Coal Block Development and Production Agreement) to surrender the blocks after the exploration period is over... They (NTPC) are consulting CMPDIL for the same," the official said. The stripping ratio of these blocks is also very high, the official said adding that NTPC was adviced to examine the feasibility of the said blocks in detail. Banai coal block was alloted to NTPC in March 2015 and the production is expected by 2020.
Bhalumuda coal block was also alloted in the same year and the production is expected by 2021. NTPC had earlier said that it was looking at 3 million tonne coal production this fiscal. Coal mining is integral to NTPC's fuel security strategy. It believes that greater self-reliance on coal will go a long way in ensuring sustained growth of generation. NTPC has been allocated eight coal blocks including Banai, Bhalumuda and Mandakini-B by the Centre. In addition, the government has also allocated Kudanali- Luburi block jointly to NTPC and J&K, with NTPC's share of coal reserves in this block being two-thirds. Similarly, Banhardih block, allocated earlier to Jharkhand Urja Utpadan Nigam, is now being assigned to Patratu Vidyut Utapadan Nigam (PVUNL), a JV company between NTPC and Jharkhand government. From these 10 coal blocks, with a total estimated geological reserves of about 7.3 billion tonnes, NTPC expects to produce about 107 million metric tonnes of coal per annum.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)