U.S. miner Peabody Energy Corp is one of five companies in which by Coal India is considering to buy equity stakes or for mining joint ventures, the chairman of the Indian company said.

"They are very keen to get into a partnership with us," Partha Bhattacharyya said at a news conference late on Monday, referring to Peabody.

India's coal supply does not meet the growing demand for power, steel and cement sectors, and difficulties in setting up new mines has had companies look overseas for secured supplies.

Bhattacharyya said the other companies were Australian and Indonesian but did not disclose names. All five companies had submitted 10 proposals and some deals were likely in the current financial year.

"Our budget is 60 billion rupees ($1.35 billion), but if all 10 materialize, more might be needed," he said.

State-owned Coal India, the country's largest coal producer, is planning to launch an initial public offer later this year and Bhattacharyya said the 10 percent government sale is likely to fetch 120 billion rupees.

He said bankers for the offering would be in place by early May and the issue was likely in August.

India's coal imports are seen growing to 100 million tonnes in 2011/12 from an estimated 80 million tonnes in the current financial year, he said.

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