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CIL has not communicated decision to exit venture:ICVL

Press Trust of India / New Delhi 20 Aug 12 | 03:40 PM

International Coal Ventures Ltd (ICVL) today said it has not received any communication from Coal India expressing willingness to quit the consortium of five state-run firms for acquiring coal assets abroad.

"Coal India has never said it will quit from ICVL. We have never got any communication from it," ICVL Chairman C S Verma, who is also the Chairman of both SAIL and NMDC, members of the consortium, told PTI.

CIL Board in May had said the state-run coal producer should quit ICVL, as it was not advantageous for it to be a part of the consortium because it only involved financial burden without commensurate advantage. CIL communicated this to the Coal Ministry.

However, Verma said, "The CIL Board, like any other Board, might have discussed the performance of joint venture companies during the meet. But, we have not got any communication from them".

ICVL was incorporated in 2009 as a venture of SAIL, RINL, CIL, NMDC and NTPC with the mandate of securing overseas coking coal and thermal coal assets. It aimed to own 500 million tonnes of coal reserves by 2019-2020.

SAIL and CIL each holds 28% stake and RINL, NMDC and NTPC 14% each in ICVL.

Verma, however, confirmed NTPC's communication to ICVL expressing its willingness to exit from the venture, but added that no formal decision has been taken so far on what is to be done with NTPC's stake.

"The steel ministry has to take a call. We have discussed the issue among the partners. Meetings have taken place, but no final view has been taken," he added.

NTPC had decided to opt out of the venture as ICVL's focus was more on securing coking coal to meet requirements of steel makers, than on thermal coal for generating power.

ICVL has failed to make a mark since its inception in 2009. On a couple of occasions, it had to retreat from plans to acquire an asset after discords crept in and consensus took longer than expected.

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