The utility has taken steps to promote competition this time after a disappointing response to the previous invitation, Chairman Arup Roy Choudhury said by telephone from New Delhi.
NTPC previously invited bids by May 26 for a single contract to supply 4 million tons of coal needed at 14 of its power plants. This time, orders may be awarded to as many as five suppliers, Choudhury said.
Coal production growth in India has slowed after delays in environmental approvals and land acquisition for mines. The commodity is used to fire more than half of the electricity generation capacity in Asia’s second-biggest energy consumer.
State-run NTPC is going ahead with coal imports although the rupee has fallen, the chairman said. The Indian currency declined 6.7 percent this month 52.21 per dollar, the most since March 1992.
“If the rupee goes to 100 per dollar, then it becomes a bigger deal, but right now there’s been no hue and cry from our buyers,” Choudhury said.
The current bidding opened on Nov. 21 and will close on Dec. 23, according to documents posted on NTPC’s tenders website.
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