Union coal ministry countered the charges levelled by union power ministry and NTPC that Coal India (CIL) was supplying inferior quality coal to the power producer.
The power ministry took its grievances against CIL to the Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI) and this move irked the union coal ministry.
According to the Power Ministry’s proposal, if Coal India supplies fuel to NTPC of less than 3,100 kcal per kg, it would not be considered under the annual contract quantity.
Only the average of sampling done at the coal loading and receiving point at a power station would be considered under the said contract, it added.
The coal ministry said the reason for this is that after changing the coal pricing mechanism from useful heat value (UHV) to gross calorific value (GCV), the fuel is classified into 17 bands spread over 2,200 kcal per kg to 7,000 kcal per kg. Therefore, there is “no scope for limiting coal supplies above 3,100 kcal per kg, it added.
The coal ministry argues that while NTPC rejects coal on the grounds that GCV was low when supplied under FSA, it bought the same coal grades of about 3.5 lakh tonne from Jayant, Dudhichua and other mines under e-auction, which is not even covered under the sampling protocol.
It pointed out that NTPC has been getting these supplies from the same sources for decades. Hence, its request for not accepting supplies of coal below certain calorific value was “not understandable”, coal ministry argued.