Tata joins Ambanis, 19 other groups in coal-bed methane race

Mumbai: The Tata Group have bid for setting up coal-bed methane projects, where it will compete with Reliance Industries, Anil Ambani's Reliance Power and 19 other companies.

''In all, 22 applicants have applied for allocation of coal blocks for coal-to-liquid (CTL) project. Some of them have submitted multiple applications through more than one firm," coal ministry officials said.

Other domestic companies that have expressed interest in the project, include Essar Oil, JSPL, JSW Steel, GMR, Gujarat State Petronet Ltd, Vedanta Aluminium, Sterlite Energy, Indiabulls, Welspun and Strategic Energy.

Public sector majors like SAIL, GAIL and Indian Oil have also submitted applications for the coal-to-liquid projects.

In their applications, a couple of the companies have said their proposed CTL plants would have a capacity to produce 80,000 barrels of oil a day.

The government is offering three coal blocks in Orissa with cumulative reserves of about six billion tonnes for the project. An inter-ministerial group would soon examine the proposals for allocation of coal blocks for the CTL project.