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NTPC, Coal India, ONGC and Reliance Power may witness some action today

The government stated that the request of Power Ministry for withdrawing de-allocation of three coal mines of NTPC is under consideration. The request of Ministry of Power for withdrawal of de-allocation of Chattibariatu, Chattibariatu (South) and Kerandari coal blocks is under consideration of government. NTPC has submitted a revised schedule for exploitation of the above blocks. These blocks were de-allocated by the Coal Ministry citing long delay by the company in developing them. These coal mines have an annual production capacity of 13 million tonnes. These mines were earlier allocated for NTPC's upcoming projects including 1,200 MW Barh II in Bihar.

Coal India (CIL) and Central Electricity Authority (CEA) are reworking the coal price pooling mechanism and will submit the revised scheme to the Power Ministry for consideration. The Planning Commission had earlier stated that to offset the impact of high import costs, CIL should adopt a pooling formula on prices by combining rates of imported and domestic coal. Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia had stated that the price-pooling mechanism should be adopted for fuel supply to power firms but solution to some of the issues involved could take some time. The CIL board had earlier approved the modified FSA without price-pooling with 65 percent domestic coal and 15 percent imported coal at cost plus basis. So far, only 30 power companies, including Lanco and Adani have signed FSAs with CIL.

The Reliance Power arm, which is building one of India's largest power stations, wants to revive the 4,000-megawatt (mw) project at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh by moving the country's electricity regulator for an increase in tariff. The imported coal-fired project has been in limbo for over a year and Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra - which have signed power purchase agreements (PPA) - have threatened to terminate the agreements. Eleven power distribution companies from the four states have slapped a fine of Rs 400 crore on Coastal Andhra Power, part of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group. The power utilities also threatened to encash Rs 300 crore in bank guarantees, apart from taking back the land allotted to the project. Contesting the decision of the state-owned power utilities to penalize it for the delay in implementing the project, the Reliance Power arm had moved the Delhi High Court and obtained a stay.

State-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation's foreign arm ONGC Videsh has finalized definitive agreements for the acquisition of the 8.40% participating interest of ConocoPhillips in the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement (NCS PSA) that includes the Kashagan Field, in Kazakhstan. The acquisition, subject to relevant government, regulatory approvals, priority rights and consortium pre-emption rights, is expected to close in the first half of 2013. The acquisition would mark ONGC Videsh's entry into the largest oil proven North Caspian Sea of Kazakhstan. The Kashagan Field, located in the shallow waters of the Kazakh North Caspian Sea, is the world's largest current development project. From Phase 1, the acquisition is likely to add an average annual production of about 1.0MMT for a period of over 25 years with a peak of about 1.6 MMT. When Phase 2 and 3 are implemented, the OVL's share will be significantly higher.

Budget airline SpiceJet will start daily flights on three new international routes -- Kochi-Male, Kochi-Dubai and Dubai-Ahmedabad. Flights on Kochi-Male route will commence from November 29, while operations on Kochi-Dubai and Ahmedabad-Dubai will commence from December 10 and 19. Bookings for tickets on these routes are now open. SpiceJet will be offering direct flight from Kochi to Male and the inaugural ticket fare is Rs 4,999 (one way fare inclusive of all taxes). Male is the new international destination that SpiceJet will connect, while the airline already operates daily flights to Dubai from Mumbai and Delhi. With these new routes, the total number of international destinations on SpiceJet network would increase to five. At present SpiceJet flies to Kathmandu, Colombo, Kabul and Dubai.

Power plants of private companies such as Jindal Power (JPL) and Sterlite Industries in Chhattisgarh are idling because they have been denied transmission access by the authorities to avoid a repeat of the grid collapse that happened in July. The National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC), which monitors grid security, has reduced the load on transmission lines in the western region by 20%. Power plants are, therefore, unable to transfer electricity and are either idling or operating below capacity. As a result, millions of consumers, especially in the South, are starved of power despite paying three times for electricity than their counterparts in the rest of the country. These companies have approached the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC), challenging the order that has hit 3,000 MW of their generating capacity even as they are entitled to long-term transmission access.

Aptech, the global leader in training and learning services has decided to provide IT career courses offered by its retail brands - Aptech Computer Education and Arena Multimedia in Nepal. Through the master franchisee it will offer graduate programs in IT, software development and animation and multimedia that are in line with leading international courses. The entity aims to expand the franchisee network for its retail brands in both domestic and international markets by the end of this fiscal year.This initiative will help the company to develop and strengthen the brand existence internationally. Aptech is provider of learning solutions to retail and corporate client across the world. The company operates two business segment retail and non retail. The retail segment consists of global information technology (IT), multimedia training and N-Power. Under this it has created brands like ACE (Aptech computer education), Arena animation, Avalon Academy, N-Power (hardware and networking) and Aptech Worldwide.

Broadcast tribunal TDSAT in an interim order has directed ESPN to continue giving its signals to DTH operator Dish TV. It has also asked the global sports broadcaster to send its officials to the premises of Dish TV for conducting an audit of the subscriber base and verification of accounts. TDSAT stated that the entire process should be completed within two weeks and Dish TV would provide full cooperation to ESPN officials. Dish TV has also been asked to show ESPN the manner in which it is maintaining its 'India Cricket Pack'. ESPN Software India, a sister concern of ESPN had issued two public notices on November 5 and November 12 this year for discontinuing giving signals to the DTH operator and alleged Dish TV has not signed a subscription agreement. It also alleged that Dish TV has not paid subscription fee.

Sundaram Infotech Solutions, the IT subsidiary of non-banking finance company Sundaram Finance, has signed its second deal with Australian company engaged in online ticketing and management -EasyBookings. As part of the deal, Sundaram Infotech will build online auctioning and shopping platform, develop a new mobile applications for EasyBookings. The new platform developed by Sundaram Infotech will also provide EasyBookings to launch its offering in the New Zealand market. Sundaram Infotech had earlier signed a pact with EasyBookings to build an online ticketing engine. EasyBookings was scouting for a company within Australia and overseas for this partnership to build the online platform for his company.

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) launched plans to increase its holdings in its Indian and Nigerian divisions. GSK had offered to buy an additional stake of up to 31.8 percent of its Indian unit, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, in a bid pitched at 3,900 rupees per share. The proposed voluntary open offer, which would lift its holding from 43.2 percent to up to 75 percent, is worth about £591 million ($941 million, 730 million euros) or 52.2 billion rupees, funded through existing cash resources.

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