First shipment of coking coal from Australia leaves for India

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Ahmedabad, Jun 13 (UNI) Gujarat NRE Coke Limited, the largest independent producer of LAMC in the country, achieved another milestone when it loaded the first shipment of coking coal produced at its NRE Wongawilli Colliery in Australia.

More than 20,000 tonnes of coal from the recently-acquired mine was loaded onto the bulk carrier 'Sea Urchin' at Port Kembla's coal loader for India yesterday. The Wongawilli coal was placed in separate compartments to 52,000 tonnes of coking coal from Gujarat NRE 1 Colliery at Russell Vale.

Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd vice chairman and managing director Arun Kumar Jagatramka said yesterday's event was the first of what the company had expected to be monthly shipments from the two Gujarat NRE Coke's mines in Wollongong.

''Once it arrives in India, it will be washed and prepared for the steel market at one of the company's three metallurgical coke plants where waste heat recovery processes are being established to generate electricity, improve profitability and earn carbon credits.'' He said the coal production at Wongawilli is expected to ramp up to 2.5 million tonnes per annum by 2010-11, when the workforce will be doubled. Gujarat NRE is currently operating two mines in the Wollongong area. The company's Illawarra operations now provide work for more than 350 employees and contractors at NRE Wongawilli and its sister mine, NRE No 1, at Russell Vale, north of Wollongong, which was purchased by the Gujarat group in December 2004.

India represents more than 20 per cent of coal export from the Port Kembla.

Peter Green, General Manager of the Port Kembla coal terminal, was jubilant as the shipment provided more certainty for its workforce. ''This shipment through Port Kembla Coal Terminal is significant as it will include the first shipment of coal from NRE Wongawilli.'' added Mr Jagatramka.

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