Troubled coal company Solid Energy said that the Indian government has expressed interest in buying some of its mines but has told a select committee that is a matter for the New Zealand Government to consider.India is Solid Energy's largest export market, ahead of Japan and China, and is keen on securing its coal supplies.Representatives of the state-owned company appeared before Parliament's Commerce Committee on Thursday morning for its regular financial review.Mr Garry Diack CEO of Solid Energy said that India was interested in acquiring some of the company's assets, but that was a matter for ministers to consider.
However, Mr Steven Joyce, answering parliamentary questions on behalf of the Energy and Resources Minister Mr Simon Bridges, said the sale of assets was a matter for the company.
Mr Joyce said that it would have to come to ministers if the sale was substantial, but nothing is in the pipeline.
Mr Diak told MPs he is confident the coal company has a good future and it no longer has a culture of largesse. He said the company still faces challenges, with the spot price for coal hovering around USD 119 per tonne.
He said that "If that spot price does turn into real market pricing, then it will put additional pressure on us and we will have to consider reducing our costs further."
Both Mr Diack and interim chairperson PMr ip Dunphy agreed the company had borrowed too heavily in the past, which meant it got into greater difficulties when the international coal price fell in 2012.