Coal India wants slice of shale gas pie

Government expected to come out with a policy for exploration of shale gas shortly

Coal India (CIL) is interested in tapping shale gas, a form of natural gas trapped in shale rock formations, to improve its bottom line and through this also allow the government to reduce imports of natural gas. Caught napping when the government permitted the exploration of coal bed methane gas, CIL does not want to miss a similar opportunity this time around, as the government is keen on stepping up exploration for natural gas.

"We want to go ahead in the coal-related value chain and tapping shale gas is one step," CIL chairman Partha Bhattacharjee said. Asked if the government will allow CIL to get into the shale gas business, Mr Bhattacharjee said, "We will try to convince the government to allow us to tap the gas as we are the largest coal miner, with the largest coal reserves."

The government is expected to soon come out with a licencing policy for exploration of shale gas in the country, reports PTI. Shale gas, which was struck recently by ONGC near Durgapur in West Bengal, has emerged as an important energy source in the United States over the past few years and accounts for nearly one-fourth of the natural gas supply in that heavily-industrialised economy. Reliance Industries has also indicated its interest to extract shale gas.

The company also has plans to explore the potential for a coal-to-oil project, Mr Bhattacharjee said.

The Coal India stock was down 0.51% at Rs302.40 at the close of trading on the BSE today.

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GlaxoSmithKline Pharma full-year net up at Rs560 cr

Board of directors recommends dividend of Rs40 a share

The consolidated net profit of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals rose 10.37% to Rs560.57 crore for the year ended 31 December 2010, the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange on Monday. The company posted a net profit of Rs507.86 crore during January-December 2009.

Net sales rose to Rs2,151.05 crore in the year ended 31 December 2010 from Rs1,907.77 crore in the previous year. The board of directors, at its meeting on Monday recommended a dividend of Rs40 per share for the year ended 31 December 2010.

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals shares were lower by 0.6% at Rs2,196.60 at the close of trading on the Bombay Stock Exchange today.

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L&T bags Rs1,100 cr power plant order from Gujarat Electricity

Gas-based project near Baroda to be commissioned in next five-year plan  

Engineering major Larsen & Toubro on Monday said it has bagged a Rs1,100 crore order from Gujarat State Electricity Corporation (GSECL) for setting up a 375MW gas-based power plant at Dhuvaran, near Baroda. The project will be commissioned during the next five-year plan.

"The EPC order was bagged by L&T under global competitive bidding, against stiff competition from domestic and international power plant equipment manufacturers," the company stated. L&T will design, supply, install and commission the entire power project on a turnkey basis. It will get advance gas turbines and high-efficiency steam turbines for the plant from Siemens AG, Germany.

L&T has executed a number of gas-based power projects. It recently commissioned a 238.5MW co-generation power plant for Indian Oil Corporation at Panipat. It is also executing a 2x384MW gas-based power plant for GMR Group at Vemagiri, in Andhra Pradesh.

The L&T stock price was up 6.7% at Rs 1,660.75 at the close of trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange today, compared with the BSE Sensex which gained 2.6%.

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