NTPC to get back 3 coal blocks ahead of stake sale

The National Thermal Power Corp (NTPC), the country's biggest electricity producer, is set to get back three coal blocks, which the government had earlier taken away from the state-owned company.

The re-allocation only awaits the law ministry's approval. The move comes a month ahead of government's proposed disinvestment of 9.5 per cent of its stake in NTPC through a public offering.

"The whole issue of coal blocks that have to be re-allocated to NTPC will be done by tomorrow (Tuesday) ... blocks will be re-allocated to NTPC post ministry of law's opinion on that matter," minister of state for power Jyotiraditya Scindia told reporters on Monday.

Coal minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said the issue is being looked into. "We hope that it would be resolved soon," he said. Both the ministers met finance minister P Chidambaram on the issue.

The blocks - Chatti-Bariatu , Kerandari and Chatti-Bariatu (South) - were taken away from the generation utility in 2011 on ground of missing major milestones for starting operations. These were part of a five-block package that NTPC and Coal India Ltd jointly held.

Together, the three blocks are expected to fuel a generation capacity of 2,600 MW.