Road towards Self-Reliant India: Adani coal Project, Vedanta, Hindalco unshackling public-sector dominance 

Road towards Self-Reliant India: Adani coal Project, Vedanta, Hindalco unshackling public-sector dominance 
Written by Krutika Lohakare

The entry of private players in Indian coal sector is expected to benefit the nation at various levels with Adani coal projects, Hindalco, Vedanta, Aditya Birla Group participating in the commercial coal mining auctions

India recently opened its coal mines and reserves for the private sector with its continued focus on energy security. The commercial coal mining allows for the administration of coal projects by Adani Group, Hindalco, Vedanta, Sarda Energy and many other private players. 

The first Stakeholders Consultation on the second tranche of commercial coal mining auctions was organized today, jointly by The Ministry of Coal and FICCI. Leading players from coal and mining industry, financial institutions, mine developers and operators (MDOs), along with equipment and manufacturers participated in the first of the 2 Stakeholder Consultations, held virtually today. 

Marked as a turning point, the auctioning of coal blocks majorly located in backward states will not only bring in the requisite funds but will also change the energy landscape of the country. The process will take the nation a step closer to becoming a ‘Self-reliant India’.

Though the international players have not participated in the auction yet, which could be due to coal facing headwinds from financial markets for investment, Indian mega industrial groups have the technological prowess and financial strength to undertake the nation’s mining requirements. 

With the commencement of the auction process in last June, as many as twelve bids for coal mine projects were placed by Adani, followed by five bids each from JMS Mining and Aditya Birla Group and four bids from Naveen Jindal group. 

While the first tranche of the auction offered 19 coal mines, the second offered 67 mines, of which 23 are under Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act & 44 under Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act. 

“From this ongoing tranche of auction, Ministry of Coal is moving to a rolling auction mechanism wherein any un-auctioned mine shall remain available for auction on the portal, with more mines being added as and when available”, said Mr M Nagaraju- Additional Secretary & Nominated Authority, Ministry of Coal.

Commercial coal mining will turn out to be a substantial move for combating shortfall in energy production in India. Private coal mining is expected to be useful at two levels: firstly, the advent of privatization in the sector will invite meaningful competition for electricity which would consequently impel greater cleaner energy sources. Secondly, India will now be able to meet the existing coal demand through domestic production, thereby cutting down on the expensive imports. 

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Krutika Lohakare

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