The government has declared names of the firms bidding for coal blocks in schedule II and III of the auction. While announcing the names, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said that out of 176 applications that were received, 134 were found to be technically valid.
Mining major Adani has bid for 5 coal blocks, followed by ACC for 3 blocks. JSPL has bid for 8 blocks, out of which Jindal power has placed bids for 5 blocks. Sarda Energy has not found a place amongst the qualified bidders that were announced. UltraTech Cement has reportedly placed bids for 6 blocks. Kumar Mangalam Birla's Hindalco Industries have placed bids for 15 coal blocks. Infrastructure major GMR has also bid for 6 coal blocks. Companies such as Jaiprakash Associates, Reliance Geothermal Power, Essar Power, Hindustan Zinc and Monnet Ispat and Energy also qualified for the bidding.
In a press briefing, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup confirmed that auction of the coal blocks will go on as per schedule, and that the high court orders do not question the ordinance on coal, per se. Swarup gave a snapshot that 86 qualified bidders had submitted their bids for 19 Unregulated mines, while 48 bidders had qualified in technical bids for the regulated sector. Now total of 110 Blocks are to be auctioned or allotted.
Regarding the order of the Delhi and Jabalpur High Court, Swarup said that Gotitoria East & West Blocks been put on hold. So, these coal blocks will not be auctioned in the present schedule. Similarly, in Schedule-III of the auctions, 3 coal blocks have been put on hold. Delhi High Court had held earlier that the change of end use for Utkal B1, Utkal B2 and Gare IV/6, all belonging to JSPL, should not be done.
For the mines which will not be auctioned till March 31, 2015, the government will appoint a custodian, so that the production of those mines are not hampered. However, contours of the custodian, its duties, etc. have not been figured out. 10 Coal mines are under litigation in various courts.
The e-auction will start on Saturday, after the government selects five companies based on their bidding documents and price.