Tata Power to acquire 30-per cent stake in $1.3-billion Indonesian coal mines

Tata Power Co today signed a $1.3-billion deal to buy stakes in Indonesian PT Bumi Resources Tbk''s two coalmines, Controlled by the family of Indonesia''s chief social welfare minister Aburizal Bakrie. The deal will be funded through a combination of debt and internal accruals.

Tata Group, India''s second-largest electricity firm after NTPC, generates 2,300 MW. It has been looking at acquiring coal reserves in Australia, Indonesia and South Africa to tie up supplies for its proposed 15,000-MW capacity expansion plan.

Tata outbid Japan''s Mitsubishi and Korea Electric Power to acquire the stake in two coal producing firms and a trading firm owned by PT Bumi Resources TBK, giving it access to one of the largest exporting coal mines in the world.

Tata Power has agreed to buy 30-per cent stakes in Bumi''s PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Arutmin Indonesia, two of Indonesia''s largest coal mines, and a related trading company.

Tata Powe will also buy 10 million tonnes of coal from Kaltim Prima Coal for two proposed power projects with a generating capacity of 7,000 megawatts. The two coal mines, which produced a total of 53.5 million tonnes in 2006 and exported 95 per cent of that amount, will help TPC meet fuel requirements at the recently-won 4,000 MW Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Gujarat as also other projects in Maharashtra.

Tata Power executives say that the two plants would be the most competitive among coal powered plants, as a result of this tie-up. Tata power has lined up a number of projects and needs about 21 million tonnes of imported coal.