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Madras HC stays tender mandating coal transport via Adani’s port - Report

Coal News - Published on Thu, 18 Apr 2019

Image Source: ET EnergyWorld
TOI reported that the Madurai bench of the Madras high court has granted an interim stay on a tender notification issued by the state-owned NLC Tamil Nadu Power Limited that mandated bidders seeking to transport coal from Odisha mines to the power plant in Tuticorin to quote for operations for both Paradip and Dhamra port, a subsidiary of Adani group. While a division bench of justice N Kirubakaran and justice S S Sundar granted the stay only on the tender that mandates operation through Dhamra, the court stated that NTPL can invite bidders for operations through Paradip.

NTPL is a public sector undertaking, a joint venture of Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) and has set up a 2 X 500 mw thermal power station in Tuticorin.

M Lionel Antony Raj of Madurai representing an organization, “Peoples right protection centre’ moved the high court stating that the tender notification issued on April 10 is tailor-made to favour the private firm and would cause a loss of at least Rs 75 crore to the government.

According to the petitioner, NTPL has executed a fuel supply agreement with Mahanadi Coal Fields in Odisha and to transport the coal from the mine to the thermal plant in Tuticorin, a tender was floated last week.

According to the tender notification, bidders are required to move coal from Odisha to the VOC Port in Tuticorin through Paradip and Dhamra ports for two years, handling 28,73,360 MT (metric tonnes) through Paradip and 12,31,440 MT through Dhamra.

The petitioner stated that during the last tender in 2017, NTPL kept the option of moving coal from either Paradip or Dhamra while in the recent tender, has mandated to move a portion of cargo compulsorily through Dhamra port, owned by Adani, failing which the bidder will not qualify.

Stating that Paradip is one of the major ports of India, owned and controlled by the government of India, the petitioner submitted statistics to show that majority of coal from Odisha mines is moved through Paradip port. It was also pointed out that Paradip is geographically closer to Tuticorin as compared to Dhamra, which is about 63 nautical miles further north from Paradip.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Thu, 18 Apr 2019
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