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Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd (CIL), has unveiled a plan to invest around Rs 4,600 crore in a vertically integrated solar value chain.

“There is a plan for vertically integrated solar value chain right from silicon manufacturing from quartz to solar modules and a power plant. MCL has already obtained a preliminary report from a consultant for the project,” said Kulamani Biswal, Director Finance, MCL.

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), the country’s biggest thermal power producer, hopes to start construction work on its 1,600 MW (2x800) coal-fired plant at Darlipalli in western Odisha’s Sundergarh district from January 2013.

The maharatna firm will start work on the super thermal power project soon after getting possession of land from the state government that is expected by December.

CIL is charged of discriminating in favour of public sector firms in the reworked format of fuel supply agreements

The private power producers' lobby has taken state-run Coal India Ltd (CIL) to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over the long-standing issue of fuel supply pacts. The lobby has blamed CIL of discrimination in favour of public sector companies in the reworked format of the fuel supply agreements (FSAs).

Parliament's Public Accounts Committee Convener Bhartuhari Mahtab on Saturday alleged coal blocks were allocated to different companies without consulting the states concerned.

Ahead of its Odisha visit scheduled for November 2, a nine-member public accounts committee (PAC) of the Parliament has asked the state government to clarify the basis on which recommendations were made for award of coal blocks to companies.

The PAC is also keen to be informed on whether the state government vetted the balance sheets of coal block applicants. Besides, the committee has asked if there was any end-use plant and the progress achieved by the companies on such plants. The PAC is scheduled to hold talks with the chief secretary B K Patnaik and other top state officials on November 3. The Parliamentary panel is led by seasoned BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

The public accounts committee (PAC) of the Parliament led by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi will visit Odisha soon to scrutinize alleged irregularities in coal block allotments in the state between 2005 and 2009.

The nine-member panel will also examine the procedure followed by the state government in recommending coal blocks for private as well as PSU firms. Besides, the panel will check the status of coal blocks allocated to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL), a Coal India subsidiary.

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), which aims to run its Talcher power station at higher plant load factor (PLF), has requested the state government to direct Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, a subsidiary of Coal India (CIL) to step up coal supply over and above the assured quantity.

The Talcher unit of the power producer is currently running at 91.45 per cent PLF against the target of 95 per cent. To maintain the target for the full year, the plant needs to run at 104 per cent PLF in the balance period and hence the need for more coal.

At a time when controversy surrounding block allocations has caught different coal bearing states in a bind, the Ministry of Coal has urged the Odisha government to submit its action taken report at the earliest in connection with illegal coal mining activities.

In the light of observations made by the parliamentary standing committee on coal & steel, coal secretary S K Srivastava has asked Odisha chief secretary B K Patnaik to expedite the action taken reports so that they can be compiled and sent to the Lok Sabha secretariat.

The union coal secretary S K Srivastava ruled out any impact of the row over coal block allocation on the performances of the public sector Coal India Limited (CIL) saying that the company is surging ahead to achieve its ambitious target of 470 million tonne production in the current financial year.

“CIL intends to grow at the rate of 7.5 per cent each year and there is absolutely no impact of coal block allocation row on the CIL,” he told reporters at Talcher coalfield on Friday.

Power generation in the 3,000 MW NTPC-Kaniha has been drastically curtailed this month due to coal shortage.

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