October 18, 2009

CIL to buy equipment worth $2 bn in 5 years

KOLKATA, 17th October, 2009: Coal India (CIL) will procure spares and equipment worth $2 billion from the overseas market in the next five years. This will mainly be procured to beef up production levels by 175 million tonne, and take up at least 134 greenfield mining projects.
Confirming the development, CIL chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya said: “We intend to increase production capacity by as much as 35 mt every year over the next five years. This will require sourcing equipment from overseas — equipment that is not manufactured in India. The cumulative value is expected to be about $2 billion over the next five years.”
Going by the target, CIL is slated to touch a total production level of 570 mt by the end of the next five years. “To achieve this, we have to source high capacity open cast mining equipment, including high capacity dumpers, shovels and dredgers for mines. All these are not manufactured in the domestic market. A part of the procurement will also go into replacing existing old equipment,” said a senior CIL official.
Incidentally, CIL’s effort to take over the ailing Durgapur-based Mining and Allied Machineries Corporation (MAMC) is yet to fructify. The proposal was taken up to start manufacturing underground mining equipment at the plant since there are no established makers as on date. Once, MAMC’s debts are waived by the Centre, CIL and its partners, including Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC), will be able to manufacture open cast mining equipment, too.
“It will help substitute imported equipment for both open cast as well as underground mines. However, we are still waiting for the government’s clearance,” said NC Jha, director technical at CIL. “Since MAMC is a BIFR case, the joint takeover proposal by BEML, CIL and DVC to take over the firm will now have to be passed by the high court, following which needs to be cleared by the Cabinet. BEML intends to take 48% in the company, while CIL and DVC will take 26% each,” said a CIL official. Incidentally, MAMC owed the West Bengal government about Rs 100 crore, which has already been waived. Central dues stand at about Rs 1,200 crore, and will require a Cabinet clearance.

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