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Coal-Starved India Could Spur Acquisitions

Stocks in this article: RTP BTU HNP

Adani Power, a $6.4 billion company by market value listed in Mumbai, announced Tuesday the acquisition of a $455 million coal asset in Australia from Link Energy.

The Australian foreign investment review board has approved the purchase of the coal mine, based in Galilee Basin in Queensland, with reserves of 7.8 billion tonnes. The mine has a production capacity of around 50 million tonnes per annum over the next four years. Adani power, the biggest thermal coal importer of India, acquired these assets as part of the company's plans to expand capacity to 20,000MW from 13,000MW.

The company plans to acquire two new ships from South Korea to import coal and has also been commissioned to develop a coal exporting terminal in Australia. The Adani group, parent of Adani Power, aspires to leverage its integrated model of coal mining, logistics and power generation. The Adani group, headed by Gautam Adani, a university drop-out who started his career sorting diamonds in Mumbai, is India's 13th richest man with a personal fortune of more than $4.8 billion, as estimated by Forbes.

The group plans to invest $25-30 billion over the next seven years in coal mines, power generation, cement manufacturing, shipping, port construction and overseas farming. The group operates India's largest private port at Mundra, not far from the Pakistan border. The group is evaluating other acquisitions in Australia, Africa and Indonesia, and owns 20 ships for freight logistics. Currently, the company owns mines in Africa and Indonesia, and imported around 30 million tonnes of coal in the last fiscal year.

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