Close on the heels of opening up coal mining to private miners, the Indian government has decided to allocate additional coal blocks for exclusive development of projects for production of alternative fuel, by domestic and foreign companies.

According to an official in the Coal Ministry, the government has started the process of identifying coal blocks that would be suitable for production of alternative fuels like coal-to-gas, coal-to-liquid and coal-to-polychemicals by domestic and foreign companies that have the required technologies for implementing such projects.

Such coal blocks, which would be amenable to production of such alternative fuels, would be allocated through the auction route to bidders who submit their required technical and financial experience. In the case of foreign investors, the Indian government would be open to such companies taking up projects in joint ventures with Indian partners, the official added.

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