ISA – Soma mine produced 47 pct more coal than planned, court report says

Soma mine produced 47 pct more coal than planned, court report saysSoma Holding produced 3.8 million tons of coal in 2012, 47 percent more than planned, which it sold to the state-run Turkish Coal Enterprise (TKI) for TL 171 million, a recent Court of Accounts report has revealed.According to the court’s report prepared in 2013, Soma Coal Enterprises produced 1.2 million tons of additional coal in 2012 in the Eynez coal mine in Soma in which a blast on Tuesday killed at least 301 miners.The Court of Accounts report also stressed that the Aegean Lignite Enterprises, which is subordinate to the TKI, states in its contracts that it will buy all the coal produced by mining firms and therefore faces difficulties selling all the coal when demand falls.Aegean Lignite Enterprises produces coal via the private mining firms Imbat A.I., Uyar Madencilik and Soma Holding through the rental of the mines in return for a percentage of their profits. The company buys all the raw coal produced by these firms and sells it for use in heating, industry and thermal plants after enrichment processing.The report urges Aegean Lignite Enterprises to include some articles in its contracts with those private firms limiting its purchase of coal each year.In addition to Soma Holding, the other two firms also increased their coal productions in recent years, the report says.Soma Coal Enterprises sells the cheapest coal in the region at TL 44.79 per ton in 2012 in the Eynez mine while Imbat sells a ton of coal for TL 50.05 and Uyar for TL 64.97.In an interview with the Hurriyet daily in 2012, Soma Holding CEO Alp Gurkan had stressed that TKI had been producing a ton of coal for $130-140, while Soma Holding had pledged prior to taking over the coal mine from the TKI in 2005 to reduce the cost to $23.80.“Our company or any other private company would not have entered this sector if we weren’t going to profit from it. Our engineers and workers are not from another planet. It is just that a private sector work model with good planning has come into play,” said Gurkan.After the accident in the Soma mine, there have been speculations that the company ignored certain work safety measures in order to cut costs. The holding took over the coal mine, which contains 18 million tons of coal reserves, from the TKI in 2005.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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