Metals & Mining News

Equity investments of ₹5,607 cr by Coal India arms get CCEA nod


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday approved equity investments totalling ₹5,607 crore by Coal India subsidiaries-South Eastern Coalfields Ltd (SECL) and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd(MCL)-for setting up two thermal power plants of 2,260 MW capacity. The approval bears a possible variation of 20% in the equity investment.

SECL is setting up a 660-MW thermal power plant through a joint venture with Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company Ltd (MPPGCL) at Amarkantak, for which an equity investment of ₹823 crore has been approved. The total estimated capital expenditure of the project is ₹5,600 crore.

MCL’s equity investment for its 1,600-MW power plant in Sundargarh district of Odisha of ₹4,784 crore has been approved. The project has an estimated capital expenditure of ₹15,947 crore to be developed by its subsidiary Mahanadi Basin Power Ltd.

The Cabinet also exempted the equity investment threshold given by the Department of Public Enterprises for the investment limit in subsidiaries by the public sector undertaking. Coal India has been allowed to go beyond 30% of its net worth in the joint venture of SECL-MPPGCL and the subsidiary of MCL that will execute the two projects. More thermal capacity additions have been planned by the government after a long hiatus as the country’s demand has been rising.

Thermal energy was written off a few years ago, which was premature, power minister RK Singh had said in November. Thermal cannot be written off until energy storage becomes viable, he had said. Thermal power is going to stay until energy storage becomes cost-effective for round-the-clock supply through renewable energy, the minister had said.

Finance CommissionThe Cabinet also approved the creation of three posts- two of joint secretary and one of economic adviser-for the 16th Finance Commission. The newly-created posts are required to assist the commission in carrying out its functions.


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