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Wednesday, 15 June 11
INDONESIA NEW COAL POLICY WORRIES INDIA POWER FIRMS - MYDIGITALFC


Tata Power, Adani group, Lanco Infratech and Reliance Power, among other Indian coal importers, are waiting to assess the impact of the Indonesian government attempts to benchmark its coal prices to international indices. The new system has the potential to increase the cost of thermal power generated using imported coal in India.

The new method that will come into effect from September attempts to link the royalties paid to the Indonesian government to an index of coal prices for Australian and South African coal in addition to others. But Indian firms said Indonesian coal is of lower calorific value and, hence, priced cheaper compared with Australian and South African coal.

Deepak Amitabh, director (corporate finance) of PTC, said there are lots of issues, which still need to be sorted before the coal prices are determined. “We are still not clear how the government will work out the price differentials between Indonesian coal and that produced by Australia or South Africa, for example. Also the spot prices are always costly compared with the long-term sales contracts. We need to find out if the long term contracts for Indonesian coal would be at discount to international market prices or not.”

In September 2010 the Indonesian government issued new regulations to determine the benchmark price for the sale of coal and minerals. The regulation proposes to peg the price for both domestic sales and export of coal to a ‘benchmark price’ for all the mining licensees. Dipesh Dipu, director, consulting (mining) at Deloitte in India said the new regulation will force companies to transact at market prices, which may be seen as raising the cost of delivered coal in India.

“When companies invest in Indonesia, they tend to have the intent to sell coal at cost, so that Indonesian business unit remained at no or negligible profits. Taking a holistic view, however, the cash flows in an integrated Indonesian coal mining and Indian power generation unit after this regulation will continue to be similar, except that income taxes will be paid in Indonesia, and the cash flows will need to be brought on the books on Indian power project after paying taxes in Indonesia through appropriate and innovative business structuring,” said Dipu.

Banmali Agarwala, executive director and head of business development at Tata Power said, “The increased pricing will definitely affect the cost of generation and we are trying to work out a strategy to handle the additional hike.”

Adani group that sources coal from its mines in Indonesia is also expected to be affected by this regulation, as Adani Enterprises has direct stake in Bunyu mines in Indonesia. Adani Power has contracted to procure 4.6 mtpa coal from Adani Enterprises at $36 per tonne. However, the total import requirement for present operational capacities is around 6 mtpa.

Vijaykumar Bupathy, senior analyst with Spark Capital Advisors, said in report that “Assuming a $50 per tonne increase in the free on board (FoB) price of coal, there would be Rs 1,040 crore incremental fuel cost to the group to the extent of the committed 4.6 mtpa of supply alone.” However, when Financial Chronicle contacted Adani Enterprises, the company said there will be no direct impact on the company, since its total cost of mining and transporting Indonesian coal to Mundra is $25 per tonne. The coal is sold to Adani Power at $36 per tonne. “Any hike in price would only increase the royalty payments by around $1 or $2 per tonne. This may have a marginal impact on the company,” said a senior finance official of Adani Enterprises.

Tata Power/BSE Rs 1,249.35 p
NSE Rs 1,249.90 p
Source: mydigitalfc (By Vikas Srivastav)



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