Coal India inks MoU with Shipping Corporation of India

Two public sector giants and ‘Navratna’ companies–Coal India Limited (CIL) and the Shipping Corporation of India(SCI)–signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here last night for promoting a Joint Venture company to create a comprehensive end-to-end logistic solution ”from load port to consuming end”.

The MoU for the 50:50 joint venture, the process of which began early this year, was signed at a formal ceremony by CIL Director Marketing A K Sarkar on one hand and by Mr A K Gupta, Director Technical Offshore, SCI on the other in presence of CIL Chairman Partha Bhattacharya, SCI Managing Director Siddharta Hazara,Kolkata Port Trust Chairman M L Meena and several high officials of the public sector units. Speaking to newsmen after the signing ceremony, Mr Bhattacharya and Mr Hazara said soon a consultant would be appointed to look into various aspects including the financial stakes before formalising the proposed JV within the next six months when the name of the new company would also be decided.

”We have only signed the MoU now to kick-start the process of formalising the JV which would incorporate the entire gamut of our business,” they said.

Referring to the country’s increasing demand for imported coal for various industrial purposes, particularly for running high capacitypower plants across the nation, the CIL Chairman said it was estimated that with the addition of about 9,000 megawatt of power generation in the country every year, as envisaged in the 11th five year plan, the gap between the demand and supply of coal would be around 25 million ton by 2014-15.

In order to bridge the gap, the CIL had decided to import high quality coal from Australia, Indonesia and Brazil to the tune of about 250 million tons within the next few years besides jacking up its own domestic production target, Mr Bhattacharya said and underscored the need for joining hands with the SCI for bringing the imported coal from around the world in its huge container vessels.

Echoing similar sentiments (of the CIL Chief), SCI MD said the proposed JV would go a long way in helping the CIL to meet the country’s growing energy requirement.

He said despite the steep increase of over ten per cent, of the cost of logistics provision, the SCI had agreed to participate in the equal partnership of the project in view of the national interest.

Also speaking on the occasion KoPT Chairman M L Meena referred to the role of Kolkata ad Haldia ports in the joint effort and said they were exploring the possibility of harnessing the inland waterways through the cousre of the river Hooghly in eastern and Northern India.

When implemented as per schedule by next year KoPT would use berges to carry coal through the river Hooghly/Ganges to bring them at the doorsteps of a number of major power plants in Eastern India including those run by the NTPC, WBPDC and CESC along the mighty river.

Moreover, he said, Kopt with central assistance was currently developing at least two new ports at Diamond Harborur, near the confluence of the Ganges, and at the Sagar Island within the next two years besides increasing the berth capacity at Haldia port in a big way.

When completed these would change the industrial scenario of eastern India not only in terms of infrastructural development, but also by means of supplying more coal to various power plants to help them generate additional power for the nation and its people.

Source – UNI

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SUMIT KUMAR

Executive at India Electron Exchange

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