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JSPL hopeful of CCI clearance for its coal-to-liquid project

23 Sep 2013

Naveen Jindal-promoted Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) is hopeful of getting a go-ahead from the Union cabinet for its Rs 77,450 crore Coal-to-Liquid (CTL) project in Odisha.
The project, which would convert coal into petroleum products like diesel and naphtha, has been hailed as first-of-its-kind as it will reduce the country’s import dependence for crude.
The mega venture has been suffering owing to delays in grant of Prospecting License (PL) for an attached coal block – Ramchandi Promotional – and forest clearance from the state government. JSPL has submitted the issues pending for resolution before the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI).

“We had requested the petroleum ministry to accept our application to CCI as administrative ministry (which is a procedural requirement of CCI) and we believe that the ministry has accepted our submission. Now we believe CCI will consider our request to facilitate the grant of necessary approval from the state or central government,” a company spokesperson told Business Standard in reply to an e-mail questionnaire.
Ramchandi Promotional block, with estimated reserves of 1,500 million tonne (MT), was allocated to JSPL in 2009 and production from the block is to commence in November 2014.
The coal ministry had issued a showcause notice to the company in June this year on the recommendation of an Inter Ministerial Group (IMG) headed by its additional secretary, for delays in achievement of milestones for development.
The company said while it had applied for PL three years ago in September 2010, it is still pending with the state government. The application for forest clearance for the CTL project is pending for want of terms and conditions of PL even as a High Level Clearance Authority under the Chief Minister had given in-principle approval for the project in May 2011.
Forest diversion proposal is pending since a year with the Chief Conservator of Forest in Bhubaneshwar; assessment of land and water requirement for the CTL project is pending with Industrial Investment Promotion Corporation of Odisha (IPICOL) since October 2011; and the state Water Resources Department has not granted sanction for drawing 120 cusecs water from Mahanadi river even as the application has been pending since March 2011. The company has replied to the ministry’s showcause notice on similar lines.
The company said the CTL plant, when commissioned, would produce 80,000 barrells of petroleum products in a day. It claimed the plant would create 30,000 direct and indirect jobs

Source: Business Standard