Millennium Post

Govt to offer coal use flexibility to private firms in 3-4 months

“We have proposed to do it for private companies as well in 3-4 months after doing it for states,” Goyal replied when asked about timeline for the government to relax norms for using domestic coal by private firms.

“We have mentioned it in the Cabinet proposal that first, we will do it for states. Thereafter, we will do it for private companies.” Last month, the government had relaxed norms for utilisation of domestic coal by states with an aim to reduce cost of power generation by 40-50 paise per unit. It was estimated that this measure would eventually lead to yearly savings of up to Rs 30,000 crore in the next 4-5 years. 

The government has allowed all coal linkages to plants of state and central utilities like NTPC to be combined. The state and central utilities are also given freedom to utilise that coal in most efficient and effective manner for reducing the cost of power generation.

Under the arrangement, all coal linkages to a central public sector undertaking are treated as one. This helps these state-run plants to find the most effective way of utilising it so that the modern and new plants run at a higher plant load factor. This reduces cost of power which is ultimately passed on to the consumer. 

Meanwhile, power minister Piyush Goyal said he will seek low-cost and long-term finance for clean energy projects in his meeting with World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim on Wednesday. 

The meeting is significant against the backdrop of $250 billion funding requirements towards India’s ambitious target of 175 GW power capacity addition from renewable sources by 2022.

“I am meeting the World Bank chief tomorrow... With the World Bank, I am sure would be talking about how we can engage particularly for renewable energy to get low-cost long tenure funding... there could be many other issues that can come up.

Cost of funds could be an issue,” he told reporters here. “World Bank funding these days is quite expensive relative to other funding available, so I will probably flag off cost of funds also,” he said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of signing of a tripartite MoU between CSIR-CIMFR (Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research), NTPC and Coal India.

“A committee that has been constituted between NTPC, Coal India and other members has drawn up a complete mechanism on how coal sampling will be done, the procedure for testing the sample, reporting the findings and the necessary impact it will have on the billing, particularly at the loading end,” he said. 
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