Thiess secures $5.5B Indian coal project
Source: Thiess - www.thiess.com.au
02 December 2010
Australia’s leading mining contractor Thiess has won a landmark $5.5 billion mine development and coal mining contract in India.
Thiess, which is wholly owned by Leighton Holdings Ltd, will develop and operate the greenfield Pakri Barwadih coal mine for blue chip client NTPC Ltd (formerly National Thermal Power Corporation Limited) which is a Government of India enterprise and the nation’s largest electricity generator. This contract is one of the largest ever awarded by NTPC.
Pakri Barwadih will be the first of six mines NTPC Limited intends to develop to provide low cost coal for its power stations, replacing expensive imported coal.
Thiess will execute the project through its 90% owned Indian joint venture company Thiess Minecs. The other 10% is held by Kolkata based Minecs Finvest Private Limited. The contract involves the construction of site infrastructure and coal processing plants during the first two years, followed by overburden removal, coal mining and operation of processing and rail loading facilities over the life of mine.
Production is planned to ramp up to 15 million tonnes per annum over the first three years of mining and more than 300 million tonnes of coal will be mined over the contract duration, expected to be 22 years. Managing Director David Saxelby said Thiess is the world’s largest contract coal miner and is well placed with experience and resources to meet NTPC’s requirement for a world-class coal mine.
Mining Chief Executive Bruce Munro said winning the Pakri Barwadih contract is a platform on which to build a contract mining business in India and has been a long term goal for Thiess.
"India has the fourth-largest coal reserves in the world and is the third largest producer. We believe this project will lead to more opportunities for Thiess in India, particularly given the strong economic growth currently occurring," Mr Munro said.
Thiess intends to recruit locally, providing a significant economic boost to the regional economy.
During the construction and ramp-up period, Thiess will introduce sophisticated training simulators to train local people in heavy mining equipment operation.