Coal Ministry invites applications for empanelment of third-party agencies for coal sampling

The Ministry of Coal has floated a Request for Qualification (RfQ), inviting applications for empanelment of third-party agencies for sampling of coal
Coal Ministry invites applications for empanelment of third-party agencies for coal sampling
Coal Ministry invites applications for empanelment of third-party agencies for coal samplingEnergy Watch

New Delhi: The Ministry of Coal has floated a Request for Qualification (RfQ), inviting applications for empanelment of third-party agencies for sampling of coal. “The present RFQ is only for the empanelment of agencies for collection, preparation and testing and analysis and documentation of coal samples at different loading points across the country,” said a notification floated by the Coal Ministry on September 29. In an action plan released earlier in May this year, the Ministry of Coal had placed a lot of emphasis on having third-party conduct quality checks for coal produced by coal companies, which has been a long-standing demand from both power and non-power consumers of coal.

“In 2023-24, the Ministry of Coal plans to ensure the supply of only sized coal as per Fuel Supply Agreement (FSA) provisions, ensure NABL accreditation of remaining one lab, SP Mines (ECL), out of 58 labs, increase the number of labs to six at four different areas of BCCL and two at CCL and the development of an interface between CIL ERP and CIMFR portal which will ensure seamless and automated data transfer without manual,” the ministry had said then.

Third-party agencies to be empanelled for coal sampling for 2 yrs

As of now, applications have been invited only for the empanelment of these agencies. “The specific scope of work and the fee payable would be determined through a separate tender process from these empanelled agencies by user agencies as and when requirement arises,” the Ministry of Coal clarified. The quantum of actual work allotted would depend on the requirements that arise during the period of empanelment.

“The initial period for empanelment would be for two years which can be extended with the mutual consent of the CCO (Coal Controller Organisation) and TPA (Thid-Party Agency) subject to the performance and conduct of the agency. New agencies can also be added at a later stage depending on the requirements,” said the ministry.

“In case the performance of any empanelled TPA is not found to be satisfactory or some act of misconduct is noted, attributable to TPA, such TPA would be taken off from the list of empanelled agencies,” the ministry added.

The online submission of applications begins on October 9 at 10 am and will close on November 9, 5 pm.

Applicants will have to establish labs within 4 months of award of work

The Coal Ministry said that in addition to applicants having an NABL-accredited lab and Lab Information Management System (LIMS) control, the applicants will also be required to give an undertaking to establish labs within 100 km of coal loading points as directed by the authority and within four months from the award of work. “In case the Applicant is a Partnership firm, the NABL-accredited testing laboratory must be in the name of any of the partner(s) of Partnership firm or Partnership firm itself. Alternatively, the applicants who do not have NABL-accredited lab(s) in their own name should furnish documentary evidence of having a long term tie up with one or more NABL accredited lab(s),” said the Coal Ministry.

The applicants should also have an annual turnover of a minimum of Rs 3 crore in any of the last three completed financial years. In order to avoid any conflict of interest, the government has said that neither the applicant nor any of its affiliates should be in the business of production or trading of coal.

Coal Ministry invites applications for empanelment of third-party agencies for coal sampling
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What will TPAs be responsible for?

As per the agreement signed under the terms and conditions of the subsequent tenders, the TPAs will be responsible for collection of samples at loading end of the coal companies, preparation of laboratory samples, testing and analysis of prepared samples in NABL-accredited laboratories and the preparation of test report for samples and associated documentation.

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