Coal India earmarks Rs.60,000 crore capex for next five years

Kolkata, Sep 23 (IANS) State-owned miner Coal India on Wednesday said it has earmarked Rs. 60,000 crore as its capital expenditure (capex) over a period of five years which will help it to achieve its target to produce one billion tonnes of coal.

However, the miner will need an additional 20,000 acres of land to meet the output target.

“We will need approximately 20,000 acres of land, however, it is being recast. The total land required will depend on technology, the process of calculating the dumping area and other factors,” company chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya told media persons here after its annual general meeting.

Asked over how much cost would be involved in land acquisition, he said: “We cannot say as it depends on the area. For instance if it is near an urban area, the land price would definitely be higher.”

“Resource has to be looked optimally because of the cost,” he said.

In the ongoing fiscal, Coal India has increased its capex by 14.65 percent at Rs.5,990.50 crore over the planned expenditure of the previous year.

However, the official said the planned capex may vary based on its future requirements and decisions.

“While the machinery cost has been included in the capex of Rs.60,000 crore, it will depend on future requirements. For instance, if we decide not to purchase the machinery and outsource it instead, it will be counted as revenue opex (operating expenditure) and not capex,” he said.

However, even though the actual capex is spent as planned, the coal behemoth will still fall short of nearly 100 million tonne of coal output.

“This will help us produce 908 mt of coal,” said Bhattacharya, an 1985 batch Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS officer.

Asked over how the firm will go about land acquisition, he said: “We will continue to work up upon land acquisition and sensitise it as well as intereact with the state governments.”

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