Bangalore: India-focussed Essar Energy Plc on Wednesday said it received forest clearance for its Mahan coal block, bringing the company a step closer to be able to supply coal to its captive power project located in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The approval will help speed up the start of mining and supply of coal to Essar Energy's 1,200 MW Mahan phase I power project, which is due to be commissioned shortly.

"This is a major step forward in our strategy of providing full fuel security for all of our power generation assets, thereby eliminating price and delivery risks," Chief Executive Naresh Nayyar said.

The company, 77-percent owned by privately held Indian conglomerate Essar Group, has been facing delays in gaining environmental approvals for coal mining and coal supply shortages, forcing it to delay some of its coal-fired projects.

Essar Energy currently operates six power plants in India and another in Canada with a total capacity of around 3,055 MW.

Shares in the company, which have fallen 23 percent this year, closed at 131.50 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.

(Agencies)

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