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The West Bengal government is

hoping to make the most of Deocha Pachami coal block that the

Centre alloted to it in June this year, state Finance Minister

Amit Mitra said Wednesday.

With estimated reserves of 2.1 billion tonnes, the

coal block is touted to be the world's second-largest and the

state government may seek commercial mining right for it at a

later stage, Mitra said.

"We are optimistic on world's second-largest coal

block Deocha Pachami. All mining activities are associated

with some or other difficulties but with advanced technologies

these issues can be resolved," West Bengal Finance Minister

Amit Mitra said Wednesday.

Mitra was speaking to reporters on the sidelines

of 'Global Mining Summit 2018' organised by the Confederation

of Indian Industry (CII).

In June this year, the ministry of coal had offered

full right of the block to West Bengal Power Development

Corporation Ltd, a state-owned energy generation company, for

end use.

The Centre had first intended to allot the coal block

jointly to Bihar, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu

and West Bengal along with PSU Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd.

However, apart from West Bengal, no state showed

interest in it citing cost and complexities associated with


Mitra said the exploration process has been planned

which will spell out the actual reserves against potential

reserve estimate of 2.1 billion tonnes.

The coal block is located in Birbhum district and

spread over 9 sq km.

The minister said that the block has a potential to

attract direct and indirect investment of Rs 60,000 crore over

the next few years.

Rana Som, chairman of Bengal Birbhum Coalfields, the

special purpose vehicle (SPV) for Deocha Pachami block, said

the company will meet coal ministry officials to finalise

performance guarantee amount that is required to be paid

before work can begin.

Performance guarantee will be fixed in phases like

first for exploration and then for output, once exploration


The block can be used as per plan submitted by WBPDCL

totalling 5,240 MW from projects at Sagardighi, Santaldih,

Bakreshwar and a project of pithead plant Durgapur Power Ltd

of 1,600 MW.

As the coal block reserve is much higher than WBPDCL's

captive use, at a later stage the state intends to seek

Centre's approval for commercial sale of coal once its own

requirements are fulfilled, Mitra said.

Mitra also said that the revenue from mineral in

2017-18 was Rs 2,264 crore of which Rs 574 crore was from

minor minerals.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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