The coal ministry is expected to auction or allot additional 18 coal blocks to the already declared 74 captive blocks, comprising of 42 blocks currently under production and 32 blocks that are in advanced stage of getting operational. The total number of blocks in the first phase now amounts to 92, with 57 mines earmarked for power sector. The government is sounding optimistic that the coal block auction will be a success and will meet the objective of supporting the prevailing coal supply situation. The government expects the 74 blocks to contribute in the tune of 210 million tonnes of coal per annum and an additional 120 million tonnes from the 18 blocks. If anything, the coal block bidding is being projected as a remarkable step given the fact that the incumbent government has set a target to double India’s coal output to more than 1 billion tonnes per annum by 2019.
If the entire process goes as per the schedule, the auction may well be concluded by March 2015. The ministry has announced the following timelines for the entire bidding process:
1) Dec 22nd 2014 as issuing of RFP,
2) Feb 3rd 2015 as submission of Technical and Commercial bids,
3) Mar 3rd 2015 as opening of Technical bid,
4) Mar 6th 2015 as opening of Financial bid, and
5) Mar 16th 2015 as allocation of blocks to the winners.
The coal block bidding is going to draw a lot of attention even at the most microscopic level. The incumbent government will have to device a mechanism that is not only transparent but also something that keeps all the bidders on an equal footing. If anything, the government needs to ensure that the opportunity is not lost in public litigation, redtapism and spurious bidding. The government also needs to de-bottleneck the bureaucratic processes, as timely award of blocks and progress of mining activity is the need of the hour.
InfraInsights through its report, “Critical Analysis on the Regulations, Bidding Parameters and Evaluation of Captive Coal Blocks under the new set of Bidding” aims to provide a critical analysis of the regulatory environment, bidding considerations, quantitative & qualitative assessment of the blocks on offer and finally a high-level outlook on the situation of supply-chain in order to assist the bidders, investors, developers, contractors and other key stakeholders in selecting potential blocks for bidding and also providing valuable insights to assist in strategy making.