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NTPC Awards Coal-Purchase Contract to State Trading of India

NTPC Ltd., Asia’s second-largest power producer by market value, awarded a contract to import coal in the next two years to State Trading Corp. of India Ltd., a company official said.

NTPC said last month it was seeking 12 million metric tons of coal, equivalent to about 27 percent of India’s thermal coal purchases last year, by the end of March 2013, said a company official, who declined to be identified, citing company rules.

State Trading will import the fuel for the year ending March 2012 and 2013, the official said. Coal India Ltd. and MMTC Ltd. will purchase the fuel for the power producer this financial year.

State Trading submitted an offer with a lower margin than MMTC and MSTC Ltd., according to mjunction Services Ltd., a web-based trader controlled by Tata Steel Ltd. and Steel Authority of India Ltd., citing Khaleel Rahim, director of marketing for the importer. State Trading may invite bids to supply the coal.

Rahim declined to comment when contacted by telephone today. T.K. Chatterjee, a general manager at NTPC, didn’t answer calls to his mobile phone.

State-controlled NTPC, which has 15 coal-fired power stations across India, plans to more than double its capacity to 75,000 megawatts by 2017 as the nation seeks to counter power shortages being exacerbated by accelerating economic growth. The International Monetary Fund in July revised India’s 2010 economic growth forecast to 9.4 percent from its earlier prediction of 8.8 percent in April.

India’s thermal coal imports rose to 44 million tons for the year ending March 2010 from 38 million a year earlier, according to data from India’s coal ministry.

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