Companies & Sectors
Tata Power scouts for coal mines in Indonesia, South Africa

Of the four Indonesian mines, Tata Power already owns 30% stake each in two of them, with an offtake of a little over 40 MT annually from them

 

Mumbai: With a severe shortage of domestic coal supply as the state-run monopoly Coal India is unable to increase output, private utility Tata Power is scouting for coal mines overseas, particularly in Indonesia and South Africa, reports PTI quoting a senior company official.

“Given the demand for the fuel for our power plants and shortage of domestically produced coal, we have to depend on imports. We are looking at Indonesia and South Africa for acquiring coal mines,” Tata Power executive director (operations) S Padmanabhan told PTI in an interview.

However, he did not elaborate on the timeline for any such deal or the quantum of funds earmarked for this. But he said this would not be an outright purchase but mostly picking up stakes in already operating mines.

Currently, the company sources coal from four mines in Indonesia and two in Australia.

Of the four Indonesian mines, Tata Power already owns 30% stake each in two of them, with an offtake of a little over 40 million tonnes (MT) annually from them.

“However, our current offtake from these mines is only 3 MT, while we can ship as much as 20 MT from each of them. But we don't do that since that will push up cost of power too high.”
 
The imported coal is used to fuel the company's plants in Trombay (1,580MW) in Mumbai and the 4,000MW ultra mega power project (UMPP) in Mundra, Gujarat.

This March, the first unit of 800-MW of the Mundra UMPP was commissioned and Tata Power expects to commission the second unit of an equal capacity by August.

As of 12 March 2012, the company had an installed capacity of 5,299MW, which includes 447MW hydel power, 28MW of solar and 375 MW of wind mills and the rest comes from mix of coal, oil and gas fired plants.

Tata Power's shares were trading at Rs99.40 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange at 11:00am, while the Sensex was at 17,012.

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RBI asks primary dealers to phase out Tier III bonds

RBI, Reserve Bank of India, primary dealers, TIER III bonds, short-term fund raising, government securities, subordinated debt

 

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) asked primary dealers to phase out Tier III bonds, a short-term fund raising tool made available to such companies for meeting risk, reports PTI.

Primary dealers (PDs) are entities which deal in government securities.

It has been decided to phase out short-term subordinated debt (Tier-III bonds) as an eligible source of capital for standalone primary dealers (PDs), it said.

Tier-III capital was issued by standalone PDs to meet solely the market risk capital charge.

Accordingly, it said PDs should not raise fresh funds through issuance of Tier-III bonds with effect from 1 July 2012.

However, PDs which are already having Tier-III capital may continue to recognise it as an eligible capital till the maturity of such subordinated debts, it added.

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Oil companies may cut petrol rates by Rs4 a litre

State-owned oil firms, which had last month hiked petrol price by a massive Rs7.54 a litre before partially rolling it back by Rs2 per litre, are likely to revise rates at the end of this month

 

New Delhi: Petrol price may be cut by as much as Rs4 a litre from 1 July 2012 as international oil prices fell to their lowest level since December 2010, reports PTI.

State-owned oil firms, which had last month hiked petrol price by a massive Rs7.54 a litre before partially rolling it back by Rs2 per litre, are likely to revise rates at the end of this month.

“Yes, there is a scope for reduction in petrol prices. But I will not stick my neck out and say there will be a reduction for sure as we have to watch for volatility in the rupee as well,” a top official at one of the three PSU oil retailers said.

State-owned fuel retailers, who as per practice revise rates of petrol on 1st and 16th of every month based on average imported cost and forex rates of the previous fortnight, had skipped changing rates on 16 June 2012.

Petrol at present costs Rs70.24 a litre at IOC petrol pumps in Delhi.

He said the last revision was done keeping in mind an average of $115.77 per barrel rate of gasoline, against which domestic petrol prices are benchmarked.

Gasoline rates have since fallen to about $97 a barrel. But the rupee has devalued to Rs57 to a dollar from Rs54.96 to a dollar (average of first fortnight of June 2012).

There was a scope to reduce petrol price by up to Rs4 per litre but with rupee falling further, the cost of imports has again risen, he said.

“There is a lot of volatility in oil prices as well as value of rupee. We are watching the situation very closely,” he said.

The official said the gasoline cracks or the difference between cost of raw material (crude oil) and the price of product (petrol) had narrowed to just $3 per barrel. In comparison, cracks for diesel were as high as $12-$13 a barrel.

With such narrow spread, any upward movement in crude oil price or devaluation of rupee would force an increase in price in near future, if the rates were to be cut now.

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