Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL) for development of the 16 top seam of BCCL’s Moonidih mine in Jharkhand. The project envisages procurement of long wall equipment which will help to provide additional supplies of around 0.5 million tonnes (MT) of prime washed coking coal to SAIL. Currently, SAIL sources around 4 MT of prime and medium coking coal from various subsidiaries of Coal India Ltd (CIL), mainly BCCL.
The MoU, signed by Mr. S.K. Roongta, Director (Personnel) of SAIL, and Mr. P.S. Bhattacharya, Chairman & Managing Director, BCCL, is part of the ongoing efforts of the two companies to maximise indigenous supplies of coking coal in order to reduce dependence on imports. As envisaged by SAIL’s Corporate Plan, the company’s annual requirement of coking coal will go up to around 22 MT by 2011-12. SAIL expects that about 8-10 MT of this requirement will come from indigenous sources. Consequently, BCCL has launched a number of initiatives to maximise coking coal supplies to SAIL.
Under the MoU, SAIL will extend fund support amounting to Rs. 166 crore to BCCL to enable development of 16 top seam at Moonidih. SAIL also plans to enter into a strategic partnership with BCCL in the future for development of seam 15 of Moonidih mine, Kapuria mine, etc.
Terming the MoU a “landmark”, SAIL Chairman Mr. V.S. Jain said on the occasion that the decision of BCCL to concentrate on increasing supplies of coking coal would benefit SAIL substantially. “We should also explore the possibility of joining hands to look at coking coal sources abroad,” he added.
Mr. P.S. Bhattacharya, CMD, BCCL, on his part, informed that the MoU was the first of its kind for his company which had so far received funding from CIL for its mining operations. He also said that he looked forward to similar collaborations in future.