R-Power Sasan mine allocation cancelled

Move comes a week after the firm pulled out of Tilaiya UMPP

The government has issued a gazette notification to cancel allocation of one of the coal mines attached to Reliance Power’s Sasan ultra mega power project (UMPP) and withdrawn the permission to use excess coal in two other mines to fire another power plant of the company.

The decision, follows the Supreme Court order forbidding the diversion of coal from UMPP mines to other projects. The ‘extraordinary gazette notification’ was issued to nullify a February 2010 decision to allow Reliance Power to use 9 million tonne per annum surplus coal from three blocks – Chhatrasal, Moher and Moher Amlhori – attached to Sasan UMPP in a nearby project.

A Reliance Power Spokesperson said: “We are studying the implications of the notification.”

Coal ministry sources said that after de-allocating Chhatrasal, the coal ministry is now planning to ask Reliance Power to submit a revised mining plan for the two Moher coal blocks, a senior coal ministry official said.

As per the company’s earlier mining plan approved by the government, Reliance Power had the right to use excess coal of four million tonne per annum from the two blocks in its Rs 21,000-crore Chitrangi power plant.

The third Chhatarsal coal block with five million tonne per annum reserves was a surplus mine. “The government has reconsidered the issue keeping in view the judgment dates August 24, 2014 and the order dated September 25, 2014 of the Supreme Court.... and has decided to deallocate Chhatrasal coal block and withdraws... the gazette notification number 335 dated February 17, 2010...” the extraordinary gazette notification noted.

The government’s move could hit Reliance Power’s plans to build the 4,000-MW Chitrangi power plant next to Sasan UMPP. After winning the Sasan contract in 2007, Reliance Power had told the government that it will be able to mine 25 million tonne per annum of coal from the three blocks attached to Sasan through use of latest mining technologies, nine million tonne more than the UMPP’s requirement.

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