The coal ministry today decided to allot 92.38Mt of coal to ensure the much-needed long-term linkages to 73 cement manufacturing units, 224 captive power facilities and 236 sponge-iron plants.
“The recommendation of the standing linkage committee in this connection has been approved by Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao. The 236 sponge-iron units with a total production capacity of 41.5Mt located in 13 states have been sanctioned long-term linkages of 19Mt of coal per annum,” a top coal ministry official said.
Of these 236 units, 84 are located in Orissa, 48 in Chhattisgarh, 36 in West Bengal, 27 in Jharkhand, 15 in Andhra Pradesh and 8 each in Karnataka and Maharashtra.
About 194 units had already started producing 10.38Mt of sponge-iron annually, while another 42 with a capacity of 4.12Mt would be commissioned soon, he said.
A total of 73 cement plants located in 14 states with an annual capacity of 116.8Mt have also been granted long-term linkage of 21.4 million tonnes a year.
Of these cement-manufacturing units, 43 are being expanded to contribute 55.6Mt, while another 30 are greenfield projects with projected capacity of 61.2Mt.
Twenty-four units are located in Andhra Pradesh alone with a production capacity of 46.25Mta.
“A total of 224 captive power plants in steel, cement and other sectors have also been approved long-term linkage of 53Mta,” he said.
These captive power plants are expected to generate 9,211 megawatt of power and most of these are to be commissioned.
Following the notification of a new coal distribution policy recently, the coal ministry has taken a liberal view on granting long-term coal linkages.
The new policy provides for Coal India Ltd to import coal if required to meet its linkage commitments, in the wake up of rising coal demand in the country, the official said.
“The new coal distribution policy has accorded captive power plants the same status as power utility and independent power projects as these plants will enhance the competitiveness of respective industrial units, while reducing the demand of the general distribution network,” he said.