The Coal Ministry has informed an inter-ministerial panel that it cannot provide short-term fuel linkages to some power plants with an aggregate capacity of 11,000 MWas they come within the 44 captive blocks allotted but not developed due to different reasons.
The Ministry is of the view that there is no provision to provide short-term linkage in lieu of non-development of coal blocks.
The short-term linkages (tapering linkages) are for those power plants which are scheduled to be commissioned by March 31, 2015.
The Ministry has mentioned that "44 (captive coal blocks allocated to power utilities) are awaiting environment and forestry clearance...The cases of 11,000 MW tapering linkages are coming within these 44 coal blocks," a government official said.
The official added that "allocation letter does not provide for giving an alternate coal block in such a scenario as as well linkage in lieu of non-development of coal blocks".
The ministry further said that of the 68 coal blocks allocated to power utilities (barring UMPPs), 15 mines have begun producing coal.
The inter-ministerial committee was formed to look into fuel issues of power plants that are stranded due to unavailability of coal. It met for the first time on March 6. It is likely to meet again tomorrow.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had taken a decision that the the Inter-Ministerial panel should look into coal supply issues and see what can be done, Coal Secretary had earlier said. "We have to examine it from all perspectives," he had added
Srivastava had declined to identify the companies which are stranded for want of coal.
The inter-ministerial panel under the chairmanship Srivastava has members from ministries, including Power, Steel, Railways and Law.
A total of 143 fuel supply pacts are to be signed by Coal India (CIL) by 2014-15 in respect of identified power projects of 60,000 MW capacity.