Published October 4, 2012 | 7:57 am
New Delhi: India’s Tata Power is looking to acquire coal assets in the US, Colombia and Africa, and set up power plants in Myanmar and Vietnam, Managing Director Anil Sardana said Thursday.
“We are continuously looking at the other geographies and today the options are the US, Colombia and Africa,” Sardana told mediapersons here at the “Clean Coal India 2012″ conference, which is part-sponsored by the company.
Sardana also said Tata Power is looking to import 50 million tonnes of coal by 2020. The company has plans to import 10 million tonnes in the current fiscal.
Tata Power’s overseas acquisition plans came up in the context of the coal imports issue, which was raised in the conference by speakers pointing to the growing demand for coal in India to meet its fast increasing energy needs.
Former power minister Suresh Prabhu said the country was looking at a near future scenario “where almost one-third of our coal needs would have to be met through imports”.
Coal accounts for most of the power generation in the country and the state-run resource monopoly Coal India Ltd (CIL) has been unable to meet the demand, necessitating more imports.
Former Coal India chairman P.S. Bhattacharya suggested last week that it was currently the right time for CIL also to actively pursue acquisition of coal assets in Australia.
Indian companies have recently started venturing into thermal coal in Australia. Infrastructure major GVK paid $1.26 billion last year to acquire 79 percent stake in the Alpha Coal and Alpha West projects, and a 100 percent stake in the Kevin’s Corner project in Queensland from Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd.
Gujarat-based Adani Enterprises plans to start digging at its $10 billion Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee basin in Queensland in mid-2013.