Industry Updates 01.08.2012

1st August, 2012
15 Coal India mines may get conditional green ministry nod

The ministry of environment and forest has given conditional approval to 15 mines operated by PSU coal miner Coal India Ltd. Sources said that in a meeting chaired by a senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office, the MoEF agreed to give conditional approval which will unlock about 50 million tonnes of extra coal production by CIL. That, in turn, will give much relief to the coal hungry power companies.

However, sources add that the MoEF has refused to give approval to another 13 mines and has asked CIL to apply for environment clearance afresh.

One official, who did not want to be named and attended the PMO meeting, said that Coal India had requested that for existing projects going in for increase in production, the requirement of fresh environmental clearance should be dispersed with. However, the MoEF official present in the meeting stated that it would not be possible to grant environmental clearance automatically in such cases. CIL will have to apply for clearance as per the laid down procedure.

Another official told NDTV that MoEF told CIL that as per the procedure, fresh public hearing is required for expansion projects for which the earlier public hearing had taken place before 2006.

One Coal India official in condition of anonymity said that “the board (of CIL) on Tuesday will discuss the issues related to all the blocks which were discussed in the PMO meet and will expedite the process to get clearances”. He added that “all these blocks can give additional 50 million tonnes of thermal coal and that will be supplied to the power producers”.

Meanwhile, after discussion, sources say the PMO convinced the MoEF for conditional approval to 15 projects of Coal India. Biggest of them are Belpahar and Samleswari open cast mines under Mahanadi Coal Ltd in Orissa, which at present are producing 4.5 million tonnes and 5 million tonnes, respectively. The MoEF has agreed to give approval to increase the production in Belpahar and Samleswari by 2.5 million tonnes and 8.5 million tonnes, respectively, to 7.5 million tonnes and 13.5 million tonnes. Coal India has been asked to submit for fresh approval by September and MoEF has assured that approvals will be in place by December. Meanwhile, these two mines can increase the production by about 6.5 million tonnes.

Similarly, Lajkura mines again in Orissa can ramp up the production by 2.7 million tonnes (against the present production of 1 million tonnes). CIL has been asked to submit some clarification within one month and MoEF will clear the mines in another three to four months.

Other mines that got conditional approvals are Dipka, Kusmunda and Gevra open cast mines in Chhattisgarh for which the approval is expected in three-four months. The Mohanpur coal project in West Bengal, too, is expected to get MoEF clearance in next two to three months.

Out of 15 mines, four that may get clearances later include Bina and Krishnashila open cast mines in Madhya Pradesh. MoEF has asked CIL to submit the required baseline data to the State Pollution Control Board within one month to facilitate holding of public hearing. CIL was to keep PMO and MoEF informed about any delay in holding the public hearing.
(Steel Guru)
Goa exported iron ore worth INR 14768 crore in financial year 2011-12

State government has exported iron ore worth INR 14768 crore for the financial year 2011-2012. This includes direct exports or iron ore as well as penultimate sales which are also considered as exports for the purposes of Central Sales Tax Act, 1956.

Chief minister Manohar Parrikar said that as per the budget estimates the total estimated royalty to be collected by the state during the year 2012-13 is INR 890 crore.

The state government has collected 28.38 crore Value Added Tax ( VAT) on local sale of iron ore and INR 83.01 crore is collected in form of Central Sales Taxes on inter-state sale of iron ore.

The revenue earned by way of income tax from mining sector for the year 2011-2012 is INR 1756 crores. Mr Parrikar in written reply in assembly said that "Central government also earn substantial revenue by taking exports duty@ 30% of ore price.”

Chief minister also said that the Goa State Pollution Control Board is carrying out ambient air quality monitoring at nine locations and water quality monitoring at 11 locations and take appropriate action on receipt of results.
(Steel Guru)
Corn exports may crest to record 3.5 mt in 2011-12 
SPURRED by higher global prices and a bumper harvest, corn shipments from India could crest to a record 3.5 million tonnes (mt) in the 2011-12 marketing year to September, the representative of a major US grains export association in India said recently. 
He pointed out that despite being the second-largest cultivator in Asia after China, India was not a significant global exporter and was mainly selling corn to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam which generally seek small cargoes for prompt delivery. 
The country exported about 3.2 mt of corn in 2010-11 and harvested 21.6 mt in the 2011-12 crop year ended June, slightly lower than the record 21.7 mt of the earlier year.
While pointing out that Indian traders had exported nearly 3.1 mt till date, the representative of the US Grains Council (USGC) stressed that the country could easily ship another 400,000 tonnes in the next two months.
(Exim India)
GAIL to commission Dabhol LNG terminal by November – Chairman

State run gas utility GAIL India Ltd will commission its LNG terminal in Dabhol on the Indian west coast, in October or November. Mr BC Tripathi chairman said that the terminal will operate initially at about 2.5 million tonnes a year, half of its installed capacity.

With gas demand expected to grow at 14% in the next five years, Asia's third-largest economy is scouting for long term LNG contracts, and aims to increase its LNG handling capacity to 50 million tonnes a year by 2017 from 13.5 million tonnes now. Mr Tripathi said GAIL will soon conclude a two-to-three-year deal to buy liquefied natural gas.

He added that "The volume would be almost a million tonne (per year)." He also said the state run utility hopes to finalize USD 450 million in foreign loans in a month's time.
(Steel Guru)
JSW Jaigarh Port all set to handle containers 
After successfully handling bulk and break-bulk cargo such as coal, limestone, bauxite, coated pipes, sugar and iron ore, and liquid cargo such as molasses, JSW Jai-garh Port plans to commence containerised shipping operations in August. This will ensure competitiveness for sugar mills, engineering industries, agro and food processing industries, seafood exports, and textile and allied machinery in the international markets, stressed an official communiqué. 
Strategically located between Mumbai and Goa, JSW Jaigarh Port is aggressively and ambitiously gearing up to become the most preferred gateway for the largest cargo generating regions of Central Maharashtra and Northern Karnataka. 
In the process, it will soon achieve another milestone by adding container services to its rapidly growing cargo mix. The port is now equipped with 2 Liebherr mobile harbour cranes with Bromma single-lift spreaders, reach stackers and other associated equipment for handling containers. It has also created the necessary infrastructure for handling boxes, including two warehouses of 10,000 sq. m each and one of 6,700 sq. m, more than 1,000 ground slots, and a huge back-up area. 
The deepest water port in Maharashtra, with draught of 14 m, will enable container lines to berth deep-draughted vessels and offer attractive economies of scale due to the larger vessels’ direct calls. 
Backed by state-of-the-art technology and well-qualified manpower, the ultimate goal of JSW Jaigarh Port is to emerge as one of the most modern and mechanised ports in India benchmarked to international standards. 
Currently, the port has constructed 2 berths in phase I. Berth 1 is mechanised to handle bulk and Berth 2 to handle multipurpose cargoes. Together they can handle 15 million tonnes. In 2010-11, the port handled a total of 1.26 million tonnes of cargo, and by 2011-12 it had achieved the target of 5 million tonnes. 
JSWJPL plans to add 8 more berths, i.e. 35 million tonnes of handling capacity. On completion, the port will have a total of 10 berths with 50 million tonnes of capacity. 
JSW Jaigarh Port has thus demonstrated its flexibility to go the extra mile to meet customer requirements and open a new avenue for routing containerships to serve the trade at large.
(Exim India)
SC permits dismantling of controversial vessel at Alang 
Following the clearance given by various government monitoring agencies, the Supreme Court has approved the dismantling of the controversial vessel, MV Oriental Nicety, earlier known as Exxon Valdez, and its recycling at Alang ship-breaking yard in Gujarat, it is reported. 
However, the submission by the agencies that the vessel did not contain any hazardous waste onboard cut no ice with the apex court. It passed an order stipulating that the tanker’s owner would have to bear all the cost of disposal of such waste through the proper process in case any such material was found during dismantling. 
Besides, it also directed that henceforth dismantling of vessels should not be permitted in the country in violation of the Basel Convention (on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal). 
The Convention, which is an international treaty, lays down that shipowners have to get prior informed consent of the host country and ensure prior decontamination of vessels in the country of origin in all cases of movement of hazardous wastes across national boundaries. The treaty also stipulates that the importing country should have an environmentally sound mechanism of safe waste disposal. 
In 1989, Exxon Valdez had spilt millions of gallons of oil in the sea off Alaska. 
An environmental activist had filed a petition in the Supreme Court in April alleging that dismantling of the vessel posed an environmental threat. The petitioner claimed that the authorities had not filed any affidavit or certificate before the apex court on the inventory of hazardous waste in the vessel.
(Exim India)

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