Govt will divert coal under e-auction to power companies

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 29 2012, 08:55am hrs
Amid the power sector facing acute fuel shortage, the coal ministry on Tuesday said that it may divert a portion of the fuel under e-auction quota to power producers, besides resorting to imports to meet the crisis.

We will divert coal under e-auction quota (to power producers), increase evacuation and import, coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said on the sidelines of a function here.

Under e-auction, coal is sold at spot market price. Around 10% of the total coal produced by state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) is sold through e-auction.

CIL had offered four million tonne (mt) coal meant for e-auction in October to power companies.

The government had then allocated additional quantity of coal to the power sector from the e-auction quota to ease coal shortage that caused frequent disruptions in electricity generation.

To ensure greater availability of coal for power and while continuing with 10% availability of coal under e-auction, the coal ministry has decided to offer some of this quantity to the power sector to overcome the temporary crisis of coal supplies in the month of October, an official statement had said.

Earlier, the power ministry had also requested the coal ministry to provide coal supplies for power projects before going ahead with e-auction.

Replying to another question, the minister said that there was no impact of Mondays strike on coal production as 80 % of CIL employees attended the work.