NTPC’s plan to transport coal through inland waterways in limbo

The power company had signed an MoU with IWAI in September 2008 for transportation of imported coal to its three power plants using inland waterways. However, there is not much progress on the plan

State-run power producer National Thermal Power Corp’s (NTPC) plan to transport coal by using inland waterways is still pending, even as the entity continues to struggle with acute shortages at two of its plants.

In September 2008, NTPC had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) to use National Waterway No 1 for transporting coal to its plants at Farakka, Kahalgaon and Barh.

NTPC officials claim that the plan is in the feasibility stage, while IWAI officials had submitted the report to NTPC in February 2009. “The MoU has been signed between NTPC and IWAI. The understanding is in place, we have already completed the study,” said Arun Roy, director, IWAI, Guwahati.

IWAI’s official site states that pursuant to the signing of the MoU, IWAI got a feasibility study carried out covering all elements and economics of transporting the coal across the identified waterway stretches. In Phase I, the stretch identified was Haldia to Farakka power station. Thereafter in Phase II, the movement was to be extended to Kahalgaon and Barh. The Draft Feasibility Report was handed over to NTPC in February 2009. However, keeping in view NTPC’s requirements, it now proposed to meet the needs of both Farakka and Kahalgaon Super Thermal Power Station in Phase I itself.

While the option of using this route for coal transportation is still in the feasibility stage, NTPC’s power plants at Farakka and Kahalgaon continue to face coal shortage. These plants have constantly figured in the super-critical list with less than four days of coal supply, as per the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) website.

According to Mr Roy, the waterway will be opened up for private players. “Any company can come and offer their vessels to NTPC as well as their rates. If NTPC finds their rates comparative with roads and railways, it will give the order to them. We from our side will provide the infrastructure like terminals. You need at least 20,000 to 25,000 vessels of thousand tonnes capacity (each) to transport the coal required,” explained Mr Roy.

“This would (mean that) Australian coal (can be) shipped to Haldia up to the Diamond Harbour and from there unloaded to the barges and then shipped up to Farakka. We would not be required to enter Haldia port,” he added.

While IWAI has the entire plan in place for this new mode of transporting coal, NTPC officials said a concrete decision on the private participation will be taken only after the feasibility study is completed.

The main bottleneck for this project would be the non-availability of a long-term NTPC contract to use the inland waterway for transportation of coal. In the absence of such a contract, an investment of Rs600 crore which would be required to set up the infrastructure will not be viable. In addition, for a steady supply of coal, NTPC will be required to firm up long-term import contracts.
 

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Nomura India appoints Nipun Goel as investment banking head

The new executive spent 14 years at Merrill Lynch India before joining Nomura. He has wide experience in capital markets, both on equities and debt, corporate finance, client coverage and origination across several sectors

Global investment bank Nomura has appointed Nipun Goel as its new head of investment banking and Nitin Jain as co-head of fixed income in India. Neeraj Gambhir, who is currently heading Nomura’s credit business in India, will co-head the fixed income business with Mr Jain.

Mr Goel spent 14 years at Merrill Lynch India before joining Nomura. Mr Goel has wide experience in capital markets, both on equities and debt, corporate finance, client coverage and origination across several sectors.

Before joining Nomura, Mr Jain worked with ICICI Securities for 14 years, where he was chief executive of the primary dealership. The business he ran was consistently ranked amongst the top three fixed-income houses in India.

Mr Gambhir has 14 years of experience in Indian fixed income, currency and derivative markets. He joined Nomura in October 2008 from Lehman Brothers. He was chairman and board member of Fixed Income Money Market Dealers Association (FIMMDA) of India from 2006 to 2007.

“These appointments underscore Nomura’s focussed and ongoing build-out plans for India and highlight the strength of our platform to attract outstanding professionals. We (will) continue to build and develop our team further,” said Vikas Sharma, chief executive, Nomura India.

Nomura India received a merchant banking license in December 2008 and has a strong investment banking team presence in Mumbai providing relationship coverage, mergers & acquisitions and capital markets expertise.
 

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Tata Group studying AIG Asia sale to Prudential

The Tata Group has a joint venture with the now bankrupt AIG for both life as well as non-life insurance businesses, in which AIG holds 26% stake

The Tata Group on Tuesday said that it was studying the decision of its insurance partner American Insurance Group (AIG) to sell the Asian operations to British insurance major Prudential.

The Tata Group has a joint venture with the now bankrupt AIG for both life as well as non-life insurance businesses, in which AIG holds 26% stake.

"Any comment will be made post-studying the statement made by AIG in the US. For Tata AIG, it's business as usual," a Tata Group spokesperson told PTI.

Prudential, which would acquire the Asian operations of AIG (AIA) is already present in the life insurance space in the country with a joint venture with ICICI Bank.

ICICI Prudential Life is a 26:74 joint venture between Prudential and the country's largest private sector lender ICICI Bank.

As per the norms, an insurance player cannot hold stakes in two insurance firms in the country. So by that yardstick, Prudential cannot have stake in Tata AIG Life. However, it is not yet clear whether the deal includes the Indian operations of AIG or not.

Yesterday, Prudential snapped up AIG's Asia operations (AIA) for $35.50 billion in a cash-stock deal.

Announcing the deal in New York, AIG president and chief executive Bob Benmosche had said that the sale is an effort at restructuring the bankrupt company's business and pay back US taxpayers.
 

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COMMENTS

Shadi Katyal

7 years ago

AIG has a lot of financial problems but it has not been declared bankrupt as per this article.
as of yesterday news was that Prudential has agreed to buy and funds thus received will be paid off to US Treasury as it owes a very large amount for being helped

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