India's Vandana Global expects to soon start importing 1 million tons of coal a year from South Africa to secure fuel for two power stations it owns, the company's chief executive said from Cape Town yesterday.
Based in Raipur, the company also manufactures sponge iron and steel ingots, and is looking to source more of its raw materials from Africa.
Mukesh Bhargava said imports from South Africa were expected to start next month. He did not want to reveal the supplier until an agreement was signed.
"To start with, we are looking at importing one million tons of coal and then going up to maybe 5million tons because we are setting up a 1200MW power plant in India and a 540MW station is under construction," Bhargava said.
Bhargava said India planned to generate an additional 50000MW of electricity within the next five years, and would need a "huge" quantity of coal to power the plants.
"So to have continued supplies of good quality coal, we have to get into the South African market specifically, because it's cheaper to import from here rather than from Australia," he said.
Bhargava said the company had not earmarked any coal mine acquisitions in South Africa yet, but was willing to invest up to $20million in the current financial year.
He said the company was also negotiating with companies and individuals in Africa to source a variety of commodities. - Reuters