Major energy companies from four countries, including the U.S., Indonesia and South Africa, have completed detailed presentations before a committee which has been set up by Coal India (CIL). This was in response to the global expressions of interest (EoIs) invited by CIL for striking alliances with overseas coal majors.

Eight proposals

During this week, companies including Peabody Energy, Massey Energy, First Coal, Murray Energy made their presentations this week while two companies Rio Tinto and Xtrata have sought time till the first week of January 2009, officials connected with the development said. “These proposals will now have to be analysed — it is a huge amount of information which will need processing,” sources said. Altogether about eight proposals have been received. The committee before which representatives of the companies made their proposals comprise five functional directors, two independent directors and the Chairman and Managing Director of the Central Mine Planning and Development Institute (CMPDIL), CIL’s design and consultancy subsidiary. Once the process of presentation and the subsequent evaluation is completed, the proposals based on some criteria will shape up and the entire matter will be put up before the board, officials said.

CIL had floated in September this year, global EoIs for striking strategic partnerships with coal companies in the U.S., Australia, Indonesia and South Africa. The companies which made their presentations were among those shortlisted from the 52 companies which had responded to the EoI.

One of the main objectives behind the CIL initiative is to enter into long-term sourcing contracts to import coal at prices which are lower than the international price from these joint ventures. India now imports about 59 million tonnes of thermal and coking coal annually to bridge the demand-supply gap.

Aside from trying to ramp up coal production by CIL, which now accounts for 85 per cent of the country’s output, several initiatives have been taken by the Government to increase the availability of coal. These include acquisition of coal assets by CIL as well as through International Coal Ventures, the joint venture of five public sector companies. However this would involve a gestation period.

Aim is to secure long-term sourcing contracts

Rio Tinto, Xtrata seek time till first week of Jan.

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