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RIL plans power foray with mining, coal-to-oil projects

15 Oct 2008

Reliance Industries (RIL) has chalked out an elaborate plan to venture into the power business. The plan includes an integrated project comprising coal mining, a coal-to liquid (CTL) plant, a 1,000 MW power plant based on coal rejects and a fly-ash utilisation unit.

The company has entered into a pact with US energy majors ExxonMobil and Headwaters, and German engineering firm Uhde GmbH. The 1,000-mw plant in Orissa is proposed to be put up in partnership with Torrent Power.

RIL is understood to have roped in ExxonMobil to convert methanol to gasoline, Uhde for coal gassification and methanol synthesis and Headwaters for direct coal liquefaction. RIL proposed that its CTL model would involve several related activities including coal mining, converting coal into oil, coal gassification and deriving fertilisers like ammonia from gas.

RIL intends to use coal rejects (obtained after washing coal) generated in the CTL programme to fuel the power plant. The power project alone would require over Rs 4,000 crore. The electricity generated from the plant is likely to be sold to the grid apart from being used for captive purposes.

The company plans to set up the plant at Angul in Dhenkanal district of Orissa. Also, a plot size of 1,000 acre has been identified near Gopalpur port for the CTL project. The government has started acquiring land. It is understood the plant would be divided into eight units of 125 mw each. The coal liquefaction programme of the company is based on award of Srirampur and Ramchandi coal blocks in Orissa. The IMG is evaluating the CTL project. RIL’s proposal is one of the several proposals submitted to the IMG. Other shortlisted companies interested in CTL venture include Essar, Jindals, Tatas and Sterlite Industries.

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