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Global Coal Roundup: India coal ministry to open mining auctions

Asia

India: India's coal ministry may allow companies from all sectors to bid for coal and lignite mining licenses, with a first tranche of commercial mining auctions expected to start in the current fiscal year, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing a senior government official. India recently outlined plans to offer more than 200 commercial coal mining blocks in the next five years. Initial auctions are expected to comprise about 40 mining blocks with peak annual mining capacity of 1 million tonnes to 50 million tonnes.

* For the first time in six years, Coal India Ltd. posted lower coal exports, with shipments dropping 3.8% to 580.8 million tons in 2019, Bloomberg reported, citing its own calculations based on data from the Indian state-run company. The report said production also declined 2.2% to 582.8 million during the period. The decline came amid lower demands and after heavy rains affected production.

China: Creditors proposed Beijing-based Wintime Energy Co. Ltd to file for bankruptcy under a restructuring plan after the coal conglomerate defaulted on about US$2 billion bonds, Reuters reported. Under a proposed restructuring plan, Wintime Energy will pay back a portion of its unsecured debts amounting to US$4.20 billion through asset disposals and debt-to-equity swaps, according to the report. The news wire added that the company will repay the remaining debt using cash flows generated by its subsidiaries for another 12 years.

Latin America:

Chile: Chile, which promotes the use of wind energy, shut down a coal plant located at the country's northern desert region Dec. 31, Industry Global News 24 reported. The closure was carried out by Enel Generación Chile SA, according to the report. It came amid the planned construction of Latin America's first concentrated solar plant in Chile, the report said.

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