Coal ministry gets offline bids for only 23 mines out of 38 on auction

By: |
September 30, 2020 4:15 AM

As many as 46 companies have placed their bids physically for commercial coal mining, the government said. Sources in coal ministry said that the online bids will be opened on Wednesday.

Among the mines offered, analysts expected fierce bidding for Odisha’s Chendipada (40 mtpa) and Macchakatta (30 mtpa) blocks and Chhattisgarh’s Gare Pelma IV/1 (6 mtpa) coal mine.Among the mines offered, analysts expected fierce bidding for Odisha’s Chendipada (40 mtpa) and Macchakatta (30 mtpa) blocks and Chhattisgarh’s Gare Pelma IV/1 (6 mtpa) coal mine.

The Union coal ministry has received offline bids for only 23 coal mines out of the 38 blocks offered for commercial coal auctions. As many as 46 companies have placed their bids physically for commercial coal mining, the government said. Sources in coal ministry said that the online bids will be opened on Wednesday.

The government on June 18 had launched the maiden auction for coal blocks, where private players can participate without any end-use restrictions. This would also be the first set of coal assets to be auctioned off through the new market-determined revenue share model that replaced the fixed fee/tonne regime that turned off private investors.

Among the mines offered, analysts expected fierce bidding for Odisha’s Chendipada (40 mtpa) and Macchakatta (30 mtpa) blocks and Chhattisgarh’s Gare Pelma IV/1 (6 mtpa) coal mine.

Initially, 41 mines were offered for the first tranche of the coal auctions. The Central government had to revise the list of coal mines offered after objections from Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. It had to withdraw five mines in Chhattisgarh and add three other blocks from the same state on the list. Maharashtra’s Bander mine, which was earlier on the list, also had to be put down. The blocks replaced in Chhattisgarh — Fatehpur East (10 mtpa) Mogra South (6 mtpa), Mogra 2 (10 mtpa), Sayang (4 mtpa) and Madanpur North (4 mtpa) — were relatively larger, the kind investors are more attracted to.

The government has recently amended several rules to make the coal mines more attractive for private players in the upcoming auctions, and some of the blocks offered fell in areas which had been earlier designated as ‘no-go zones’. The government is also planning to amend the Coal Bearing Act (CBA), 1957, to allow it to acquire land and lease out to the private sector for commercial mining. The CBA currently allows special relaxations for land acquisition only to state-owned companies such as Coal India and its subsidiaries.

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