Power Minister Piyush Goyal said he will seek low-cost and long-term finance for clean energy projects in his meeting with World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim on June 29. The meeting is significant against the backdrop of USD 250 billion funding requirements towards India’s ambitious target of 175 GW power capacity addition from renewable sources by 2022. “I am meeting the World Bank chief tomorrow… With the World Bank, I am sure would be talking about how we can engage particularly for renewable energy to get low-cost long tenure funding… there could be many other issues that can come up. Cost of funds could be an issue,” he told reporters.
“World Bank funding these days is quite expensive relative to other funding available, so I will probably flag off cost of funds also,” he said. He was speaking on the sidelines of signing of a tripartite MoU between CSIR-CIMFR (Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research), NTPC and Coal India. “A committee that has been constituted between NTPC, Coal India and other members has drawn up a complete mechanism on how coal sampling will be done, the procedure for testing the sample, reporting the findings and the necessary impact it will have on the billing, particularly at the loading end,” he said. He further said that in the last two years, there has been a significant improvement in the quality of coal being supplied to consumers.
State-owned NTPC has reported reduction of nearly 20 per cent in the cost of coal, largely by reducing imports of fossil fuel, the minister said, adding that there is an annual savings of around Rs 8,000 crore by the power PSU only in consumption of coal. Goyal gave some firm assurances on the power availability front, saying there is enough electricity for the next 10 years. “Even if we have no hydro power projects, India will have sufficient power,” he added. Among public sector banks, SBI will be financing the largest capacities of 15,000 mw with an outlay of Rs 75,000 crore followed by IDBI Bank (3,000 mw). Speaking on the occasion, Science and Technology minister Harsh Vardhan said energy has always been a top priority for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and this MoU marks “a historic moment”.
Goyal also said Coal Controller of India has started the process of revisiting coal grades of each coal mine, and 22 mines have been verified till date. As a part of this MoU, CSIR-CIMFR will make use of its knowledge based support in maintaining quality of coal at national level for the entire power sector. It is estimated that about 300 mt of coal samples will be analysed for quality per year. The contract value of the project is around Rs 250 crore per annum at minimum. This project is expected to result in improvement in performance of power plants, besides providing benefits to consumers.