Thursday, March 29, 2007

C&O, Dubai based coal supplier to Indian TPPs

Dubai co leads in importing coal to India

Ambrish Jha

The company, having notched up an annual turnover of Rs 1,300 crore in 2004-05, expects sales to touch Rs 1,500 crore in the current fiscal.

Mumbai , Nov 16

Shortage of quality coal for thermal power plants has always been a problem for the country, forcing large parcels of coal imports from destinations such as Australia, Indonesia and South Africa.

And this was a window of opportunity that Dubai-based Coal and Oil Company LLC (C&O) seized a couple of years back and is now the leader in this segment.

It imported seven million tonnes of coal into India last year, which accounted for 30 per cent of the country's coal import.

C&O also bought its first coal mine in Indonesia earlier this year.

The CEO and President of C&O, Mr Ahmed Buhari, said the company expects to source coal from this mine in six months. "We are spending some Rs 200 crore on our logistics and in three years we will be a totally integrated energy supplying company," he said.

The company, having notched up an annual turnover of Rs 1,300 crore in 2004-05, expects sales to touch Rs 1,500 crore in the current fiscal. Significantly, 70 per cent of this comes from business in India.

The Government has estimated a shortfall in coal supply to be around 100 million tonnes by 2010. A Citibank survey has put the figure at 160 million tonnes.

"We are the only player to supply coal to seven large IPPs (Independent power producers) in the country," Mr Buhari said. The C&O client list includes Tata Power, Reliance Energy, and Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation.

The company, incorporated in 1998, in Dubai, has an Indian subsidiary company Coastal Energy Private Ltd that has offices in all the port cities. This was in sync with the Indian Government plan to encourage power plants in coastal regions to reduce freight component.

According to Mr Buhari, Indian power companies initially chose C&O because it supplied `effectively cheaper' coal; now it is preferred because (in addition to price factor) it supplies low-sulphur, low-ash coal.

The company was the first to import South African, Chinese and Russian coal. Low ash content coal supplied by C&O has just two per cent ash and mid-ash content coal has nearly 15 per cent ash.

In comparison, Indian coal has 45 per cent ash content. Calorific value of the coal supplied by C&O is around 6,500 gross calorific value - air-dried basis (gcb-adb), while for Indian coal it is never more than 4,500 gcb-adb.

The company says its entry has helped power companies reduce their fuel bills. Mr Buhari said that in the current fiscal Maharashtra State Electricity Board has been able to reduce its expenditure on coal by Rs 50 crore last year while the utility has already saved Rs 18 crore this fiscal.

The company is not too keen to invest in Indian mines at present on account of the captive generation clause. The company, already a big importer of coal into Pakistan, has begun operations in the US too.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Maritime board too poposes a port at Dhamankhol bay, Jaigad !

After Jindal's proposed port at Dhamankhol for Coal import for its proposed Thermal Power plant is facing stiff opposition from the people, it is now the Maritime board's turn to propose the port here again.

Surendra Gangan

State-owned Maritime Board has planned to develop a few ports and jetties in the state on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) system. The project, which is estimated to cost Rs50,000 crore is slated to start in the next few months.

In a meeting held recently, State has agreed in principle on the proposal presented by the Maritime Board. “It includes the development of five to seven ports including Revas, Mandwa, Vijaydurg and Dhamankhol. It will be conducted under the BOT system and enable the State to grow its export drastically,” said Pritamkumar Shegaokar, deputy president of the Board. He said the tenders will be invited in the next few weeks and the work will start as soon as possible.

Sources from the Board said that the State is focusing on ports to make sure that they are not used only for fishing purposes but major export is routed through them. “So, three marketing federation terminals are proposed on three major ports in Navi Mumbai, Nagpur and Marathvada,” he said. The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister and President of the Board Vilasrao Deshmukh, also sanctioned the Green Belt Project at Dhamankhol, Ratnagiri.

Segonkar said that ports in four districts in the Konkan belt have been given utmost importance. “Local fishermen in this area have been opposing the projects but we are holding meetings with their leaders to convince them.” State also sanctioned the permission for a shipyard at Tulsundewadi in Ratnagir

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

News on Jaigad port and its Environmental impacts

Date:12/03/2007 URL:

Work on port unsettles fisherfolk

Meena Menon

A thermal power plant and the port face opposition

— Photo: Vivek Bendre

UNDER THREAT: Jaigad fishing village in Maharashtra.

JAIGAD (Ratnagiri district): The curving blue creek opens out before you on the road to the fishing village of Jaigad. There are several closely clustered villages right on the edge of the creek that depend exclusively on fishing for their livelihood. Niaz Ali Makki has just returned from a long stint in his boat. Fishermen like him are already being affected by surveying activities for the proposed port at Dhamankul close to the village that is being built by JSW Infrastructure and Logistics Limited.

``I saw huge iron rods going into the water for some survey work. We are small fishermen. The waters of the creek have fish right up to the edge of the shore. Once the port comes up, this will vanish,'' fears Makki. The Jaigad Fishermen's Cooperative Society, founded in 1968, has nearly 1,300 members. The fishermen oppose the 1,200 MW coal-based thermal power plant coming up at Nandivde nearby and also the proposed port, which will unload the imported coal.

Hussain Mir Abdul Sansare says the port will affect both small fishermen and the bigger ones with trawlers. The release of the water used by the power plant into the creek will play havoc on the water temperature, he points out. The fish catch here is exported to nearly 24 countries and the local economy centres on it, he added. Fish catch in the Jaigad area has been in the area of 56,430 tonnes in 1997-98 and about 42,364 tonnes in 1999-2000, according to the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the project.

Around the creek there are about 9,000 families who depend on fishing. Badruddin Mia Zambarkar says that earlier boats used to travel as far as Dabhol creek, a two-hour boat ride to the north, which was once a prime fishing area. ``Now that the power plant has come there, the fish has all gone,'' he said. Jaigad is one of the finest creeks for marine life on the Konkan coast, say the fisherfolk.

Rashid Umar Dange, another fisherman, says that the company's survey work means that there is some drilling going all day near the proposed port site. Although the locals managed to stop work, it has started again under police protection. He said small fish come to the shallow creek waters to feed and once the creek temperature rises or there is a disturbance, these fish will not come here any more. The local fishermen have refused to help the company. But they are also fatalistic and believe that the port will come up anyway. They also fear that the port could cause flooding as Jaigad village has a small jetty around which water rises up higher in the monsoon.

Raaj Kumar, joint managing director and CEO, JSW Energy Limited, insists that the impact of the plant on marine life will be negligible. The water requirement for the proposed 1,200 MW power plant is 3,74,400 cubic metres a day. Water from the plant would be released into the creek only after it is passed through a cooling tower as suggested by the expert committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

JSW Energy Limited's Environmental Impact Assessment, says P.R. Arun, an environmental scientist, has not quantified the impact on fisheries, mangroves and coral reefs. The fly ash and effluents released into the sea and the creek could spell doom for the fisheries, he said.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Plan to set up thermal power plant in Konkan generates heat

Meena Menon

Farmers and fisherfolk are convinced it will pollute the air and affect horticulture in the region

  • Low sulphur coal will be used we will adhere to all environment norms: company
  • Main crop to be hit will be Alphonso mangoes, fear farmers

    JAIGAD (Ratnagiri district): Angry mango farmers and fisherfolk in Ratnagiri district are questioning the decision to locate a 1200 MW coal-based power plant at the stunning Jaigad creek on the Konkan coast. They are convinced it will pollute the air and adversely affect the extensive horticulture in the region. They say that their land was acquired for a steel plant but is now going to be used for a thermal power plant. Many gram panchayats in the region have passed unanimous resolutions opposing the project.

    JSW Energy limited, part of the O.P. Jindal group, the company setting up the plant, says that its annual coal requirement of 4.14 million tonnes will consist of imported low sulphur coal and that it will adhere to all environment norms. But the farmers are not convinced. The fisherfolk who depend on Jaigad creek for their livelihood are also worried that the proposed port and the power plant will end their business.

    The Ratnagiri Zilla Jagruk Manch, which was formed soon after the two public hearings held about the plant, is questioning the absence of transparency in the process of establishing the plant. The Manch also describes as bogus the Rapid Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) carried out by the company for both the proposed port to unload the coal and the power plant. It has filed a public interest litigation petition in the Bombay High Court, demanding a proper hearing of their grievances. The court has served notices on the Collector, the company, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) and others.

    The project awaits clearance from the MOEF. About 784 acres is already with the company and it is buying up 200 acres more. JSW is one of the eight companies that signed MOUs with the Maharashtra Government in 2005 to set up power plants. The State is facing a massive power shortage and load shedding this year touched 5700 MW. Yet, although farmers acknowledge the need for power, they feel that locating such a plant in a fragile ecosystem would destroy it completely.

    Dr. Vivek Bhide, president of the Manch and a successful mango grower from Malgund, is proud that this year, along with 13 other farmers, he has exported Alphonso mangoes to Europe for the first time. He heads the Shree Mango Shetkari Mandal and, like many farmers, is apprehensive that once the power plant comes up, Alphonso mangoes will be the worst affected.

    Farmers are particularly upset about the way the first public hearing, organised by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, was held in August 2006. ``The company did not even provide the EIA report before the hearing. There was chaos at the first hearing as the company could not give information in Marathi and it was postponed to next month,'' says Dr. Bhide. A month later, the next hearing was held at Nandivde where the plant will be located. ``This time there was a dramatic change and all the politicians were on one side with the company officials and the Collector. Our objections were not recorded and neither were our concerns addressed,'' he added.

    According to government records submitted to the court, Ratnagiri has 61,000 hectares under mango, 4,930 under coconut and 83,262 of cashew. Over 4.5 lakh people are employed in this sector in the district. The farmers export to countries that have stringent norms and have obtained certification after sustained efforts.

    Digambar Kamlakar Kane, a mango exporter from Reel near the proposed plant, points out that the company acquired land in 1993 for a steel plant.

    In Kunbiwadi in Nandivde, which is about 200 metres from the proposed coal-stocking yard, there is much anger. A half finished white cement fence marks the boundary.

    Last December, Madhukar Damle went on a hunger strike to oppose the plant. ``The situation is suicidal and the common farmer will be affected,'' he said. His brother Vasant Damle, who sold the land to the company, has demanded that it be returned since the company was not setting up the plant they acquired it for. Land was acquired in the name of Jindal Iron and Steel, says the 70--year-old Damle who managed to get hold of the original agreement of sale. ``We have been deceived by the company,'' he says. Also, at that time, the company registered an agreement with the villagers saying that in case a steel factory did not come up in five years, the people had the option of buying back their land at Rs. 17,000 per acre. ``I want my land back now," says Damle, a former schoolteacher and journalist.

    Raaj Kumar, joint managing director and CEO, JSW Energy Limited said land was partly acquired for an integrated steel plant in 1993 but there were objections then and the industry was shifted to Karnataka. The plant and port is expected to cost around Rs. 4,800 crores. He said the company was prepared to adhere to all pollution control norms and even help in local development.

    © Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

  • Western Coalfields to invest Rs 200 crore

    BS Reporter / Mumbai/ Nagpur March 13, 2007

    To open four new coal mines with a combined annual capacity of 3.65 mt.
    Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) intends to invest Rs 200 crore to open four new mines in Vidarbha with a combined annual capacity of 3.65 million tonnes for dedicated supply to the state electricity utility’s thermal power plants in the region.
    Sources said that negotiations on signing an agreement on cost plus basis with Maharashtra Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) were in final stages.
    Three of these mines are open cast while one is an underground mine. They include, Durgapur extension, Bhatadi extension, Junad and Deep Waghoda underground mine.
    The coal company expects to produce 2 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) from Durgapur, 0.65 MTPA from Bhatadi extension, 0.60 MTPA from Junad Deep and 0.39 MTPA from Waghoda underground mine.
    The projected capital investment for the mines is Rs 40.48 crore in Durgapur extension, Rs 74.29 in Bhatadi extension, Rs 30 crore in Junad Deep and Rs 55.15 crore in Waghoda underground.
    Sources said that the coal company was unable to open these mines as the expected internal rate of return (IRR) had been calculated at less than 12 per cent.
    Coal India Limited (CIL) has stipulated that new mines should have an IRR of more than 12 per cent. The mines can however, be operated if the coal company can find some consumer who is prepared to accept coal on a cost plus basis formula.
    As Mahagenco has a number of thermal power stations in the region, it can get uninterrupted supply of coal from these mines and can afford the “cost plus” sharing formula in low transportation costs.
    The WCL is already operating two mines, Adasa underground having an annual capacity of 0.21 MTPA and Kolgaon open cast with 0.40 MTPA capacity on cost plus basis on an agreement with Mahagenco.
    The coal company’s total production in the last financial year was 43.2 MT and if these agreements are signed and new mines opened, it would increase substantially over the next four years.