Centre to examine Odisha govt’s push to reallocate coal blocks

Bhubaneswar: The Centre today assured the Odisha government to consider its proposal of re-allocating coal blocks earlier given to some state-owned public sector undertakings and IPPs which made substantial progress in their projects.

“I am informed that the state government has submitted such proposals seeking re-allocation of coal blocks in favour of some PSUs and IPPs. We will examine those proposals,” Union Coal Secretary Anil Swarup told reporters here after reviewing the progress of 15 coal projects.

Earlier, Odisha’s energy minister Pranab Prakash Das had written to Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal requesting him to award two coal blocks again to OPGC (Odisha Power Generation Corporation).

OPGC has lost both the coal blocks allocated to it after the Supreme Court ordered scrapping of licences of 204 blocks which were allocated between 1993 and 2010.

The minister had said OPGC made considerable progress on its proposed 1,320 MW expansion at its Ib Valley plant and the state government had recommended grant of mining lease in OPGC’s favour in December 2012. But, the matter was held up by the Ministry of Coal.

Similarly, Das in another letter to Goyal had said, “I request your personal intervention for assured coal supply through linkages to the thermal power plants which have either commissioned or made significant investment and achieved considerable progress in development of power plants, which will help the state in meeting its growing demand of electricity”.

Of the 28 IPPs with whom the state government signed MoUs, two have commenced commercial production – Vedanta Group firm Sesa Sterlite (2,400 MW) at Bhurkamunda near Jharsuguda and GMR Kamalanga (1,050 MW) in Dhenkanal district.

Others like Jindal India Thermal Power Ltd, Ind-Barath Energy and Monnet Power were in advanced stages of commissioning their projects, official sources said.