Sunday, May 22, 2022

Govt okays single e-auction regime for power, non-power sector to avail non-linkage coal

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  • This e-auction will cater to all the sectors, namely Power Sector and Non Regulated Sector (NRS), including traders, said the government
  • Market distortions would be removed and single rate for all consumers will evolve in the e-auction market

New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the offering of all non-linkage coal by coal PSUs to both power and non-power sectors through one e-auction window of Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL). In a statement released on Saturday, the government said, “This e-auction will cater to all the sectors, namely Power Sector and Non Regulated Sector (NRS), including traders, and coal would be offered through this auction in place of the present system of sector-specific auctions.”

The above will be subject to CIL and SCCL meeting the coal linkage requirements against existing linkages and ensuring no impact on the current linkages to power and non-power consumers and the contracted prices, said the government.

Auction of non-linkage coal will be transport mode agnostic

Coal offered through the single e-auction window shall be transport mode agnostic with the default option being through rail mode. However, coal may be lifted by consumers through the road mode/other modes, depending upon their choice and suitability without paying any additional charges or discount to the coal PSUs.

Long-term allotment of coal by CIL and SCCL, without affecting the supplies against existing coal linkages, to their own gasification plants shall be allowed at prices as may be decided by the coal company. However, the taxes, duties, royalty etc shall be paid by the coal companies on the notified prices of coal for power sector, said the government.

New auction regime will evolve one rate for all consumers

Market distortions would be removed and single rate for all consumers will evolve in the e-auction market. It shall increase operational efficiencies and lead to an increase in domestic coal demand by efficiency in domestic coal market. Besides the discretion presently vested in coal companies of allocating coal to different end use sectors will be eliminated, said the government. Further the coal companies shall be able to establish coal gasification plants by availing coal from their own mines. It shall help in developing clean coal technology in the country, it added.

“Removal of market distortions through offer of coal under a single e-auction window at the same rate for all the consumers of the economy will attract more consumers towards domestic coal. Thus, the demand of domestic coal is expected to increase. CIL also has ambitious coal productions plans for the future with an aim of producing 1 BT (Billion Tonne) coal by 2023-24.  Hence, with better availability of domestic coal with better price stability and predictability, the import of coal is expected to come down drastically. This would reduce the dependence on imported coal and would help to make Atmanirbhar Bharat,” the statement said.

“This measure would ensure sustainability and development of the coal gasification technology. Use of clean coal technology like coal gasification would mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of coal usage,” it added.

Background

The coal market is segmented and regulated and consequently, there are many different market-discovered rates for same grade of coal in each segment of market. Segmentation with rate differentiation results in coal market distortions. By these reforms in the coal market, coal of any particular grade may be sold in the market at one rate (one grade, one rate), with default mode of transport being Railways, through a transparent and objective e-auction mechanism. A single e-auction window would enable the coal companies to sell coal through the market discovered price mechanism to all the consumers. 

The coal companies are planning to diversify business via coal gasification route. In coal block allocation mechanism, coal gasification is being encouraged through incentives like rebate in the revenue share. Similar incentivisation is necessary to help early establishment of this new use of coal and related technologies. The coal companies would have flexibility to supply coal to their coal gasification projects.

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