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CIL may have to import coal

PTI     April 6, 2012
In a bid to meet the obligations of supplying a minimum assured quantity of coal to power producers under the Presidential directive , Coal India may resort to imports, its Chairman and Managing Director designate S Narsing Rao said.

"We have to see how much we can increase production to meet the commitment. CIL will do the imports if it is inevitable," Rao, who is currently heading state-run Singareni Collieries said.

The company earlier had expressed inability to import saying it was not in the business of importing coal.

The government on April 3 issued a Presidential directive to the Maharatna PSU to sign fuel supply agreements (FSAs) with the power producers assuring them of at least 80 percent of the committed coal delivery.

The directive came in the wake of Coal India failing to meet the deadline of March 31 , set by the Prime Minister's Office for CIL to enter into FSAs with power producers for minimum assured supply.

When asked about the options of imports following PMO's directives to ink FSAs, CIL's acting Chairperson Zohra Chatterji in February had said, "We are not in the business of importing is one of the ways to meet the demand theoretically."

Rao, who is due to take the charge of the company shortly, said the PSU would weigh various options of importing coal that will include direct imports, if required.

"Coal India may import directly. At the same time there are public sector undertaking like MMTC which are there for a long time in the business. They have expertise...All options we should see if that (import) is inevitable...," Rao said.

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