Ministry, DVC lock horns over coal supply

kolkata, Apr 28 | Updated: Apr 29 2007, 05:30am hrs
The Union coal ministry has changed its mind about giving Damodar Valley Corp (DVC) coal from the Hazaribagh mines of Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) for its proposed 1000 mw project at Koderma in Jharkhand, which is to meet a big chunk of Delhis power requirement when it comes up by 2010.

Last year, the Delhi government signed a memorandum of understanding with NTPC Ltd, DVC and the Haryana government for securing a power supply of 4,330 mw by 2010, when the city is scheduled to host the Commonwealth Games.

DVC, a three-way venture between the Union government and the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal, has agreed to supply 2,500 mw of this requirement. The bulk would come from the new project and Koderma and the rest by expanding the existing 840 mw Mejia by 500 mw and the 750 mw Chandrapura by 500 mw. With DVC having just secured price quotes from Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) for the Koderma boilers, the coal ministry now wants DVC to link up with Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) in Orissa.

Ministry sources told FE that the government expects problems in developing CCLs Chattibariatu (south) block allotted to DVC, because it is in a forest area.

DVC chairman Asim Barman said the utility is not very keen about MCL since the long distance would inflate the transport cost. The CCL block allotted is already connected via the Tori- Shivpur- Hazaribagh- Koderma railway line.

The coal ministry had committed us the linkage and they have to give it. We are already in talks with the ministry to sort out the problem, Barman said.

DVC would require 5 million tonne of coal per annum for the Koderma project for which it has been allotted three blockstwo under Eastern Coalfields Ltd and one under CCL.