Coal India (CIL) is planning to invest in new coal assets in Myanmar and Botswana after its decision to start mining in Mozambique by FY 17. A coal ministry official told CIL’s entry into Myanmar could be very strategic for India as this could create scope for wider Indian investment in the country alongside Chinese investment.
China has invested more than $ 8 billion in hydro electric, oil & gas production and coal mining.
But the Myanmar government is keen to attract more foreign investment, technical assistance and issuing production-sharing contract in the coal sector since most of its reserves are yet to be tapped.
Myanmar has coal reserves of over 270 million tonne, but the country produces less than 2 mt annually. The government there has recently decided to form JVs to exploit around 44% of its total reserves and wants to keep only 3% exclusively in the state’s hand. It is open to give the rest of the reserves to private hands.
According to Prasenjit Chatterjee, a director in Zenyam Mines of Indonesia if Myanmar opens for mining by Indian companies a chunk of trade would shift from Indonesia. The Indonesian government for long has been talking of imposing stringent norms for coal export from the country but nothing has come so far.
However, Indonesian coal has high moisture and presence of volatile matter is high in Indonesian coal, for which it is highly combustible. It is difficult to stock Indonesian coal, which generally has a gross calorific