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Bids invited for non forest areas in Chandrabila coal block

Tangedco was allotted Chandrabila coal block, spread across 9.32 square kilometres (sq km) with a total geographical reserve of 896.16 million tonnes (605.707 MT in the non-forest area), in 2016.

CHENNAI: After facing hurdles over getting forest clearance for the development of a coalmine allotted to it, Tangedco has invited bids for the selection of mine developer and operator for the development and operation of the non-forest area of the Chandrabila coal block at Talcher coalfields in Odisha.

Tangedco was allotted Chandrabila coal block, spread across 9.32 square kilometres (sq km) with a total geographical reserve of 896.16 million tonnes (605.707 MT in the non-forest area), in 2016. However, the development of the coal block faced various roadblocks, particularly, in getting approval for exploration in the forest area.

A senior Tangedco official said that unlike earlier attempts to develop the entire Chandrabila block, including the forest areas, the present tender seeks to develop the non-forest area of the coal block. “After taking up the development of the non-forest areas in the coal block, we will go for the exploration in the forest area later,” the official said.

The official said that two critical issues that hindered the developmental activities of the coal block are the lack of area within the coal block for dumping overburden to be removed and the non-issuance of clearance for exploration in the forest area of Chandrabila coal block.

Tamil Nadu has been allowed to mine 10 million tonnes per annum of coal for 35 years, including a development period of 42 months. The coal mined from this block shall be put to captive use in Tangedco’s end-use power projects of 1X660MW Ennore Expansion Thermal Power Station, 2X660 MW Ennore SEZ Thermal Power Station and 2X660 MW Udangudi Stage-I Thermal Power Project in Thoothukudi.

As per the coal linkage approved by the Ministry of Coal, the Ennore Expansion project would get 1.885 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), while Ennore SEZ and Udangudi projects would be supplied 3.682 MTPA and 3.647 MTPA respectively.

Domestic coal would be supplied for 50 per cent of the plant load factor of the three thermal power projects and the rest would be met through imported coal.

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