BCCL not to sell coking coal to SAIL unless price rate refixed

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Kolkata, Apr 9 (UNI) Bharat Coking Coal Ltd (BCCL), trying to come out from the clutches of BIFR, has decided not to sell its coking coal to SAIL unless the steel major enhanced price, BCCL-Chairman-cum Managing Director Asoke Kumar Paul today said.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Paul said, '' BCCL cannot afford anymore to sell its coking coal to SAIL at the present rate of Rs 4500 per ton and will stop selling to the steel company unless the price is raised to Rs 6500 per ton. " The BCCL, under constant watch of the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) since 1994-95, had made a turnaround for the third successive year with both profit margin and production jacking up every year, he added.

The BCCL had planned to increase its flagship product of coking coal to 4.58 million ton in this fiscal compared to 3.54 million ton last year.

The BCCL, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd (CIL), recorded a profit of Rs 85.17 crore and produced 25.22 million of coal in 2007-08, a turn around feat for third successive year.

Mr Paul said, '' The BCCL has ready market for its coking coal as Durgapur Project Ltd and Rastriya Ispat Nigam Ltd are buying at the rate of Rs 6500 per ton, much higher than SAIL's payment. While DPL has asked one lakh ton of coking coal, the Vishakhapatnam-based RINL is importing 20,000 ton per month, but demand stands at 50,000 ton for each month. '' '' But those two companies need more coking coal and are looking for the BCCL's support, '' Mr Paul informed.

He said the Steel Authority of India Ltd's requirement was 18 lakh ton but only 16 lakh ton could be transported during the last fiscal, adding since an agreement between SAIL and BCCL expired last March, the question renewing the agreement did not arise unless price was first fixed at the rate of Rs 6500 per ton.

Mr Paul said, '' To make a ton of coking coal, the BCCL has to spend Rs 7000 to 8000, but under the present PSU policy, we are first to see the interests of the public companies. '' Among the eight CIL's eight subsidiaries, only BCCL produces coking coal from its mines in Jharkhand and West Bengal.

UNI PC SJC RN1718

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