The National Thermal Power Corporation has floated a fresh tender to import 5 lakh tonne of coal, putting on hold its earlier tender of importing 7 million tonne.
The power major has also not yet finalised a date of signing fuel supply agreements (FSAs) with Coal India (CIL) subsidiaries, though it earlier committed of completing signing all FSAs by January 10.
An NTPC official told FE that the power major has planned to import 5 lakh tonnes of coal for its 2,000-mw Simhadri thermal plant in Andhra Pradesh, which blends Indian and imported coal on 80:20 basis.
The company has asked for techno commercial and price bid in a single tender and would open it on February 8.
This would enable NTPC to get imported coal by the fiscal end or it might spill over to early next fiscal. The company has no immediate plan of opening the bids for 7 mt of import, which means the company might end this fiscal importing 9 – 9.5 mt against its target of importing 16mt.
The company had to cut down on its import target despite fall in international prices because of the falling rupee. Importing 7 mt at one go would have had a huge outgo and the current generating tariff wouldn't be enough for a recovery. The company has now planned to create ample foreign currency reserves to pay for imports in foreign currency so that it is shielded from the cascading effects currency fluctuation, the official said.
NTPC, for its Simhadri plant, signed an agreement with Indonesian miners to supply 4.5 lakh tonnes in three months with the last consignment reaching the Gangavaram port in December.However, there are no signs that NTPC will open the bids for importing 7 mt this year, the official said. On the other hand, CIL has no clue when the power major will sign the FSAs.
S Narsing Rao, CIL chairman and managing director, said out of the 18 FSAs left, NTPC is supposed to sign 13 FSAs with seven different CIL subsidiaries. “But we have no clue when will it sign,” Rao said.