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Rajasthan State Petroleum Corporation's underground coal gasification project  

13 cos in race for Rajasthan State Petro's underground coal gasification projects


Kolkata, Aug. 14::::::::Rajasthan State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (RSPCL) — a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Ltd — has received expression of interests (EoI) from 13 companies for underground coal gasification (UCG) programmes in the lignite deposits of Barmer-Sanchore and Bikaner-Nagpur basins in western Rajasthan.

UCG projects produce syn-gas (a mixture of various amounts of carbon-dioxide and hydrogen) having lower energy density than natural gas that is often used as fuel. The gas may also be used as an intermediate for producing synthetic petroleum. According to a company official, RSPCL will form a joint venture with two-three selected bidders and seek lignite blocks from the Centre for undertaking UCG projects in the 1,100 sq km area in two basins. The official said that among the prominent bidders are: Adani Power, Tata Power, Essar, Shiv-Vani, Abhijeet group, JSW Energy and Simon India Ltd (a wholly-owned project management subsidiary of Zuari Industries of the K K Birla group).

Essar has interest across the energy vertical. Shiv-Vani is mostly into drilling services. Abhijeet group has interests in metals and power sector. Adani, Tata Power and JSW Energy are major players in power generation. “All the 13 participants will now be asked to prove their technical eligibility in undertaking such projects. Based on technical expertise, we will shortlist two-three bidders to form joint ventures,” the RSPCL official told Business Line.

The PSU issued the tender seeking EoIs for UCG on June 12. Though initially the tender was scheduled to be closed on July 12, RSPCL extended the date to August 12. Underground coal gasification is considered as an uncharted territory in India. In 2004, oil and gas major ONGC mooted a UCG programme with technical support from the Stochinsky Institute of Russia in the coal-rich eastern region of the country. The company had entered into an MoU with Coal India Ltd for the project. In 2005, ONGC proposed a pilot UCG project in lignite-rich Tamil Nadu in collaboration with Neyveli Lignite Corporation. However, since then ONGC has not announced any progress in the projects.

Source …….….Pratim Ranjan Bose.from the pages of THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE NEWSPAPER

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