E-auction process for first batch of 24 coal blocks to kick off on Thursday

The Centre will kick-start the e-auction process for coal blocks on Thursday by offering 24 of the shortlisted 42 producing assets. Tender documents for each of the blocks will be released on December 27.

This follows the Cabinet approving the re-promulgation of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance and the guidelines for the auction and allocation process. The Cabinet also approved a bid floor price of ?150 a tonne for non-regulated sectors, such as steel, and a reverse bid mechanism for the power sector, where the lowest bidder will win.

Of the 24 blocks, the Centre has reserved seven for the power sector, one for the steel sector and 16 for cement and captive power plants. “The auctions for the 24 blocks will be held between February 14 and 22. By March 23, we expect that agreements will be executed with successful bidders,” said Coal Secretary Anil Swarup.

Concurrently, 17 producing blocks will be allocated to State and Central public sector units.

In the first phase, the Centre planned to offer 101 blocks (including 42 producing and 32 ready to produce) but one producing block – Marki Mangli II – fell under the ‘no go’ area.

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