Millennium Post

Centre places 40 more coal mines for auction, allotment

Taking the auction process forward, the government has put 40 more coal mines on offer for auction and allotment, of which 26 blocks would go to the power sector.

As per the list, of the 40 mines, 23 mines that are close to production, have been earmarked for auction, while 17 others including Tara East, Parsa East and Kanta Basan would be allotted directly.
The mines to be auctioned to power sector include DurgapurII/Taraimar and Durgapur II/Sariya, Utkal B1 and B2, Mandakini, Utkal C, Jitpur, Ganeshpur and Tara.

Apart from this, 14 mines would be alloted to companies in iron and steel, cement besides captive
power plants, which included Gare Palma IV/8, Marki-Mangli-IV, Dumri and Lohari blocks.

As per a government document, conduct of electronic auction for the mines in the schedule III category (ready to produce) will take place between February 25 to March 5. An initial list of 23 mines has already been announced.

The government on December 25 kick-started the auction process for 204 coal mines that were cancelled by the Supreme Court.

The Union Cabinet had earlier approved re-promulgation of the coal ordinance and necessary guidelines for mine allocations.

The government on December 25 last year kick-started the auction process for cancelled coal mines with the launch of a portal for electronic bidding.

E-auction of 23 coal mines announced for qualified bidders earlier will be held from February 14-22.
The entire mine allocation process for Schedule II (in production) coal mines will be completed by March 23 with the signing of Coal Mine Development and Production Agreement, the government had
said earlier.

Several bidders raise concerns about first stage price offers

Ahead of coal block auctions, some of the bidders have raised concerns over first stage price offers for the bid, seeking simplification of procedures. The development came at a meeting of the bidders convened by the government recently to discuss proposed auction of 23 coal blocks in the first tranche.

“During the meeting some of the companies raised their concerns about the double price bid. In the first or qualification stage the bidders will have to give an indicative price,” an official said adding that the top five bidders will go for the next stage of e-auction.

An indicative price is the first price quoted by the company based on their own assessment, the official added. After the qualification stage, the “shortlisted five bidders will have to again quote a price,” said the official.

Till now 100 companies have registered themselves on MSTC website for participating in the auction of coal blocks. The bidders who wish to participate in the auction will have to pay an application fee of Rs 5 lakh which is non-refundable. After submitting the money, a bidder will have the access to complete details of the coal blocks. During the pre-bid meeting attended by almost 100 companies, questions were also raised on different issues including the end-use plants linked to the coal mines.
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