Essar Group likely to buy two CMB blocks in Indonesia

The diversified Essar Group is likely to pick up two coal-bed methane (CMB) blocks in Indonesia as it continues to look for investment opportunities in mining and power generation in the South East Asian country, as well as in Australia and Africa.

The group has submitted a bid for one coal bed and is conducting a joint study for the other, K B Trivedi, president director of PT Essar Indonesia, said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

The two blocks are located in Kalimantan, which is in the Indonesian part of Borneo Island.

While the company has submitted a bid for a coal bed in Indonesia, it is currently focusing on its existing projects such as power plants and expansing crude oil refining capacity in India.

Essar Group chief executive officer Prashant Ruia said in a Bloomberg TV interview that the group is seeking to expand by acquiring more coal and iron ore assets in Indonesia, Australia and Africa to meet domestic Indian needs for resources.

"We're looking at investing overseas, including in Indonesia, Australia and Africa, to access natural resources," Ruia said. "Coal and iron ore are two major possibilities, and going forward, oil and gas."