Indian power-generation company NTPC is reportedly planning to award a $4bn worth contract to commence its first coal mine in the country.

Bloomberg quoted three people familiar with the company’s decision saying that an auction to select an operator for the Pakri Barwadih mine in the eastern state of Jharkhand has been completed.

A venture of Thriveni Earthmovers and Sainik Mining won the auction and has quoted quoted Rs260bn ($4bn) to develop and run the mine for a period of 25 years.

The state-run utility is hoping to save on expensive coal imports by arranging its own supply.

Two of the people said that production from the mine may begin early in 2017 and for over 25 it is expected to yield about 310 million metric tonnes of coal to NTPC.

The NTPC owned mine has been delayed due to protests by villagers who asked for higher compensation in order to vacate the land.

In 2014, the company gave a contract to a unit of Australia-based Leighton Holdings for the mine development but eventually terminated it citing delays.