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Web Exclusive | April 2013

SAIL ropes in Lanco Infra to develop Tasra coal block

Lanco Infratech has been roped in by the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) to develop Tasra coal block, which was given to the latter by Bharat Coking Coal in 1996.

While Lanco, Adani and some smaller players bid for the project, SAIL found Lanco to be technically and commercially fit for the contract.

According to media reports, the block may have reserves of nearly 100 million tonne and will accompany a beneficiation plant and a power plant for 300 megawatt, all of which has to be developed by Lanco, as per the bid document.

Lanco will have a target of producing 4 million tonne of coking coal a year, and sell it entirely to SAIL, which will then pay it based on the “net present value” of the coal.

With this, the Tasra coal mining project has seen the light of the day after a 15-year delay. The block ran into a raft of problems with the rider on land acquisition by the operator being the biggest deterrent for bidders.

The mine lease for the Tasra block, including a part of contiguous to the Chasnalla block in the Jharia coalfields of Jharkhand’s Dhanbad district, covers 4.5 sq km or 450 hectare.

SAIL requires surface rights for 900.59 hectare because of the nature of the block. But currently, it is in possession of only 346.67 hectare.

The remaining land would be acquired by Lanco and at the same time devise a rehabilitation and resettlement plan for almost 3,500 people who will be displaced owing to the project.

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