NEW DELHI, April 3 (Reuters) - India's southern Andhra
Pradesh has cancelled bids made for two separate tenders by
India's Adani Enterprises to supply imported coal as
the prices quoted were too high, two state government officials
It is the first time in recent years that a major government
tender for imported coal has been cancelled over high prices.
Details on the cancellation have not been previously reported.
India has asked utilities to step up coal imports to address
a domestic shortfall. However, expensive imports could add to
the financial woes of state government-owned, debt-laden power
distributors, which have overdue payments of nearly $15 billion
to power generators.
Adani, India's largest coal trader, offered to supply last
month 500,000 tonnes of South African coal at 40,000 rupees
($526.50) per tonne and another 750,000 tonnes at 17,480 rupees
($230.08) in January, the officials said.
Benchmark South African coal prices started rising
in January to hit a monthly high of $176.50 per tonne in the
wake of an export ban by Indonesia, extending the rise to a
record $441.65 per tonne in March due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Both tenders were cancelled because the prices quoted were
too high, the officials said. Adani was the only bidder for the
500,000 tonnes tender, while Agarwal Coal, which had also bid
for the 750,000 tonnes tender, had quoted a higher price than
Adani, they said.
Adani and Agarwal Coal did not immediately respond to emails
and calls seeking comment on Sunday.
India has cut supplies to the non-power sector as it faced
two of its worst power shortages in recent years in October and
March, despite record production by state-run near-monopoly Coal
One of the officials, B Sreedhar, managing director at
Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corp Ltd, said the current power
shortage was not as bad as the one in October, but said the
state was living a "hand-to-mouth existence".
"We have not been able to build up stocks. Even though coal
is available locally because of more mining, transportation is
an issue," Sreedhar told Reuters.
Andhra Pradesh, which faced an electricity deficit of 7%
during the last three days of March, floated a tender this week
"for urgent procurement" of 100,000 tonnes of imported coal, the
Indian state government-owned utilities could import at
least 2.6 million tonnes in the coming months to address summer
power demand, equalling total buying in the last 24 months,
other state government officials said.
The western Maharashtra state has floated a tender to
procure 2 million tonnes of coal, while southern Tamil Nadu
state could float tenders to procure 480,000 tonnes, senior
officials there said.
Federal government-run NTPC Ltd floated a tender
last month to import 1.25 million tonnes of coal.
($1 = 75.9731 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Ediitng by Emelia