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Abhijeet Group export deal still on dry land

TWO months after officials in Kentucky and India announced a $US7 billion export coal supply deal that would send millions of tons of Appalachian coal to soften shortfalls in India’s domestic production, the first load of coal is yet to leave.

Donna Schmidt
Abhijeet Group export deal still on dry land

Transport firm River Trading vice president John Grantham told Kentucky WFPL that the first shipment in the 25-year deal, which was due to leave for the Abhijeet Group in late September, had not even been scheduled.

Grantham said that to his knowledge the deal remained in effect but he did not know when the first load would depart Appalachia.

“We have seen a decrease in price since the deal was inked and it probably got a little over-reported at the time [but] India’s a far way away and communication isn’t always fluid,” he told the outlet.

“But yeah, I think it’s driven by market conditions.”

The logistics and pricing details of the agreement, first announced by Kentucky governor Steve Beshear, New Jersey energy collaborative FJS Energy, Booth Energy and the Abhijeet Group in mid-August, were not released and still remain under wraps.

WFPL noted that, according to IHS Global Insight coal analyst James Stevenson, Asian buyers had in the past renegotiated contracts when prices fluctuated, with the other side absorbing the loss and conceding to the unfavorable deal.

Another issue, the report said, was a coal scandal in India involving Abhijeet officials.

In August, the Kentucky government called the agreement an opportunity to provide additional energy sources to one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and to provide some stability for domestic producers.

“It’s no secret that the coal industry is in a state of flux in America, what with erratic market conditions, the uncertain regulatory atmosphere and the ever-changing energy picture,” Beshear said at the time.

“But international markets need coal and this private partnership is a great example of a new market for Kentucky resources.

“My administration has worked hard to strengthen ties with India and we’re looking forward to a long and successful partnership with many more economic opportunities.”

Beshear’s office is yet to comment.

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