UPDATE 1-India's NTPC mulling 25-yr coal import deal-chairman

Fri Aug 5, 2011 1:10pm GMT

* Plans to secure more coal mines in India

* Aims to add 25,000-30,000 MW generation capcity in Apr 2012-March 2017

* To invite price bids for 4 mln T coal imports in next few days (Adds details, quotes)

NEW DELHI, Aug 5 (Reuters) - India's NTPC Ltd is looking for 25-year coal import deals to secure supplies and hedge against sharp fluctuations in prices, its chairman said on Friday, days after it abandoned a bid for Australian coal miner Bandanna Energy's assets.

"Our first priority is not to acquire coal mines and make money, our first priority is to secure fuel," Arup Roy Choudhury told a news conference.

NTPC last week did not submit a bid for Bandanna as the price was too high.

Choudhury said tax changes caused uncertainty in international prices and were a deterrent to his firm's overseas coal mine acquisition plans. Australia last month announced it would levy a carbon emission tax that is seen denting miners.

NTPC, which is India's biggest power producer, consumes 164 million tonnes of coal a year to fire over two-thirds of its about 35,000 megawatts (MW) installed capacity. In the five years to March 2017 it aims to add 25,000-30,000 MW capacity.

It plans to import four million tonnes on its own for the first time in the current fiscal year, besides buying 12 million tonnes through state-run trading agencies.   Continued...

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