BHEL-NTPC recalibrating turbines to reduce dependence on imported coal: Piyush Goyal

State-run firms NTPC and Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) are exploring recalibrating turbines to enable them to shift to domestic coal from imported coal, union coal and railway minister Piyush Goyal said at an industry event.

“Many turbines in India cannot take beyond a certain percentage of domestic coal as they have been designed on imported coal (technology), I am glad that NTPC and BHEL are both working to recalibrate those plants,” Goyal said while addressing an Assocham interactive session on coal industry held last night.

“Even if it needs further investments we will allow it as a pass-through in power pricing but try and enable yourself to use domestic coal, it is worth the saving for the nation as a whole,” he said.

Indian Railways is looking at changing the return that is allowed to companies or investors to own railway assets, he said.

“Suppose one of you wants to set up your own railway line anywhere, we are going to liberally allow you to do it, if you want to own your own rakes or wagons to have an assured supply of coal movement, we can allow you to own it, not at the rates of return that you were allowed in the past which were very unattractive, but literally at a rate of return which would be quite attractive for performing companies,” Goyal said.

Coal India Ltd (CIL) will invest nearly Rs 20,000 crore in the 5-7 years to own 1,500-1,700 rakes.

He said railways is working to finish work on 14 lines dedicated for coal movement which are under different stages of new lines, doubling or tripling of lines which are being personally monitored by coal secretary and chairman of the Railway Board on a monthly basis to make sure there are no slippages.

The minister said that he had sought Odisha chief minister Naveen Pattnaik’s help in increasing coal production in the state by getting land, making railway line, sorting out law and order issues and stopping harassment at coal mines by Biju Janta Dal MLAs, particularly in Talcher which has the potential to provide coal to the power plants in rest of the country.

“But I did not get the kind of support which I should have got,” added Mr Goyal.