Lanco plans to raise Griffin coal production to 16 mn tonnes

Lanco Infratech plans to quadruple annual coal production to 16 million tonnes by 2015 from its Griffin mines in Australia.

The diversified group had acquired Griffin coal assets for AUD 730 million in March last year.

Griffin mines are already producing about 3.6-3.7 million tonnes of coal and the same would be ramped up to 4.7 5 million tonnes by April next year, Lanco Infratech Chief Operating Officer (Finance) T Adibabu said.

"We will soon be preparing a detailed project report to raise production from Griffin (mines) to around 16 million tonnes by sometime in 2015," he said.

According to him, plans are on the anvil for a port that would facilitate transportation of coal from Griffin mines.

However, specific details about increasing production were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, Lanco is locked in a AUD 3.5 billion legal battle with Australia's Perdaman Industries over Griffin.

Noting that there "is no seriousness" related to the legal issue, Adibabu said final resolution is expected by the middle of next year.

Multinational Perdaman, last year, filed the lawsuit against Lanco in Australia, alleging non-compliance with coal supply pact for its upcoming urea plant in Western Australia.

For its upcoming Collie urea plant, Perdaman had entered into a 25-year coal supply pact with Australia's Griffin Coal, which was acquired by Lanco in March 2011. The pact was finalised in December 2010, with the then owners of Griffin.

Lanco raked in revenues worth Rs 165.7 crore from Griffin Coal in the three months to September 2012.

The diversified entity has a net debt of more than Rs 32,700 crore. Out of the total amount, around Rs 16,576 crore are related to projects under construction.

In response to a query on whether the company is looking to restructure its debt, Adibabu replied in the negative.

"There are no plans for Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR)... Debt servicing is within our reach," he noted.

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