After 3-year delay, NTPC to soon get coal from Kaniha mine

In a couple of days when coal starts moving through the three-km ‘merry-go-round’ from Kaniha coal-mine to a NTPC generation facility, it will remedy a nearly three-year-old blot on Coal India’s balance sheet.

The state-owned miner was losing nearly Rs 100 crore annually, just on wages and salaries, for delayed implementation of the material handling system — by NTPC — and the resulting idle capacity since 2010. According to sources, the 10-mtpa Kaniha opencast mine is slated to meet most of the 17-million-tonne fuel requirement of the 3,000-MW NTPC Kaniha power station.

Though production was to begin in 2008, the miner was ready to produce about four mt coal by 2010.

Approximately Rs 100 crore has been spent on land acquisition. Another Rs 100 crore goes towards salaries for 400 people. More money was locked up in equipment and other necessary infrastructure. Everything was in place, except the short rail link. As per original schedule the merry-go-round was slated to be ready in 2008. But, NTPC missed the deadline because of land acquisition hurdles.

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