The contentious issue of signing fuel supply agreements between NTPC and Coal India Ltd appears to be headed for a resolution, with the NTPC likely to ink the pacts within a month.

After a meeting with NTPC chief Arup Roy Chowdhury, CIL chief S Narsing Rao said that the issues had been discussed threadbare and that a pact could be signed after some small modifications. The boards of both the companies would have to approve the matter. The CIL board would meet on December 12. The board of NTPC, on the other hand would meet on December 26.

Mr Rao said there would be no major change in the fuel supply agreement (FSA) draft. He told The Hindu that CIL migh remove the present cap on ‘impurities’ (stones and boulders) found in coal for which the draft FSA had set a limit of 0.75 per cent of supplies for deductions. Some other changes would also be made regarding arbitrator and coal movement by rail. According to sources, NTPC is not happy with signing two sets of FSAs for plants in brown-field capacity expansion. Sources said CIL had agreed to look into the issue on a case-by-case basis.

The signing of the FSA is expected to be held in Delhi, where the next meeting is scheduled for in mid-January. As per a Presidential directive to Coal India in April, the PSU has to supply a minimum 80 per cent of contracted amount to power companies under the FSA. CIL has been able to sign only 33 FSAs till now. Under the FSA now, it will supply 65 per cent (the rest through imports would come only after resolving the price-pool issue ). DVC, CIL’s other major consumer who had along with NTPC refused to signs FSAs , inked its first such pact last week , its chairman RN Sen said.

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