Goyal meets top officials on coal pricing, quality

Tags: Power
Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal has met top officials of both the ministries to thrash out the issues related to coal pricing and the quality of the fuel.

Goyal met Power Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha and Coal Secretary S K Srivastava along with other officials late last week, sources said.

The power ministry discussed a range of issues impacting the sector with the coal ministry, they said.

The quality of coal supplied by state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) has again become a bone of contention as the Power Ministry has alleged that stones and boulders are still being dispatched in supplies even after the introduction of the third party sampling mechanism.

Besides, the power producers raised concerns pertaining to coal companies - CIL subsidiaries - charging project developers 40% premium over CIL notified price for supply of coal.

Earlier, it had also alleged that the coal companies were charging a premium of 20% over CIL notified price for coal supplies to tapering linkage holders.

Besides, it had said that the mechanism for third party sampling of coal quality, which was introduced in October last year at loading points, could not address the quality issue and so there is a "need to be done at unloading point".

Sources in CIL said that during the sampling of the fuel at the loading point, the stones are separated from the coal. During mechanical loading if coal is not free from stones then in the fuel supply agreement there is a provision wherein the company compensates for supply of stones.

The issue of coal quality last year had resulted in a standoff between the country's largest power producer NTPC and the world's largest coal producer CIL.

Last year, NTPC had alleged that it was being supplied inferior quality of coal.

This was followed by CIL stopping coal supplies to NTPC's plants saying the power major owed huge dues to the coal PSU.

Besides, NTPC had refused to enter into fuel supply pacts with CIL.

After the government's intervention it was decided that third party mechanism would be introduced to check the quality of coal.

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