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Fate of two CTL projects in Odisha sealed

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Odisha Sun Times Business Bureau

New Delhi, Feb 24:

For the second time in four months, an inter-ministerial group (IMG) came out strongly against the two coal to liquid (CTL) projects proposed in Odisha – one each by Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) and Strategic Energy Technology Systems, a joint venture of the Tatas and Sasol of South Africa. With this, the fate of the two CTL projects is as good as sealed.

The IMG reiterated its recommendation for cancellation of the coal blocks granted to the two companies at its meeting held earlier this month.

“After perusal of these two letters (of government of Odisha), the IMG felt that no new fact has been brought to light warranting re-consideration of IMG’s earlier recommendation given in respect of these two CTL blocks,” said the minutes of the meeting held to consider the replies of the Odisha government.

“Therefore, IMG reiterates its earlier recommendation in respect of these two CTL (coal-to-liquid) blocks,” it said.

The inter-ministerial group (IMG), at its meeting held in October last year, had recommended de-allocation of the blocks.

Ramchandi Promotional block in Odisha was alloted to JSPL while Arkhpal Srirampur block in the state was given to Strategic Energy Technology Systems Ltd, a Tata-Sasol Joint Venture, both in 2009.

The ministry said it was noted from letter dated October 19, 2013 of Odisha government that the previous approval of the Centre for grant of prospecting license (PL) in respect of Ramchandi Promotional block was accorded by the Coal Ministry in 2009. However, the PL has still not been granted, it added.