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South Africa offers coal for Punjab's thermal plants

Posted on Jan 27 2014 | IANS

Chandigarh, Jan 27 : With thermal plants in Punjab reeling under shortage of quality coal, South Africa has offered to meet the state's requirement of coal.

France K. Morule, South Africa's High Commissioner to India, met Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here Monday and made an offer to provide coal for the state's thermal plants.

Morule told media persons that there were surplus coal deposits in South Africa and a regular coal linkage would be established with Punjab.

"We are a mineral rich country and would certainly like to have an agreement with Punjab on this, to which the chief minister has readily agreed," he said.

During the visit, Morule was accompanied by entrepreneur Vikramjit Singh Sahney, who is president of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and honorary consul of South Africa for northern India.

Morule said there was potential for a tie-up for coal supply between South Africa and Punjab.

"We are here to promote trade investments, tourism and cultural exchange with Punjab as we have historical bonds between the two countries," he said.

On his meetings here Monday, the South African envoy said it was decided to have tie-ups for two food processing plants in the state.

"Talks were also held to facilitate zero customs duty between the two countries, which would further help in encouraging more tie-ups with Punjab. There is room for educational tie-ups as well between South Africa and Punjab," the high commissioner said.

He said sale of South African wine could also be explored in Punjab.

Sahney said South Africa would also be partnering with companies in Punjab in developing infrastructure.

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