'NLC will take full advantage of power demand'
— S. Rajagopal, Chief General Manager - Projects &
Business Development, Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd
A mini-ratna company under the coal ministry, Neyveli Lignite
Corporation Ltd has chalked out a major expansion plan to increase power
capacity from 2,490 mw to 11,000 mw. S. Rajagopal discusses NLC's plans
with Mrinalini Prasad.
Despite being a company with a confined resource base, NLC
is gaining prominence in power scenario. What are the driving factors?
Neyveli Lignite Corporation is a mini-ratna company under the coal ministry and
excavates 24 million tonnes per annum of lignite from its three mines and
generates 2,490 mw power from three thermal power stations. The company has been
consistently making profits for more than 30 years. Our strength is in healthy
cash generating capacity, dedicated O&M team, ability to give consistently high
PLF and expertise in life extension programme for its power plants. We believe
in progressive growth and organisational safety and take full advantage of power
demand, subsequent to capacity additions envisaged by Government of India.
What are the new power projects under implementation?
Currently, we have two projects under implementation in Neyveli and Rajasthan.
In Neyveli, a 2x250 mw captive lignite-based thermal power plant is under
construction. This is an expansion project of the existing 1,470 mw thermal
power station. The plant is being erected with CFBC technology boiler, the first
of its kind in India of 250 mw capacity. The lignite linkage is established from
mine-II which is under expansion from 10.5 million tpa to 15 million tpa. The
project is scheduled to be completed in 42 months from GoI date, and the first
unit is expected to be dedicated to the nation during the current Plan.
In Rajasthan, the erection of 2x125 mw thermal power plant is in progress in
Barsingsar. Supporting mining activities for excavation of 2.1 million tpa of
lignite is also in progress. The plant is expected to be commissioned during
Does NLC's predominantly regional presence and confined resource base affect
No, they don't. We believe in striking a balance between adherence to government
policies and guidelines, state policies, respecting local identities,
satisfaction of stake holders with long term profit measures. Special emphasis
is on environmental consensus, social constraints, power allocations and so on,
without harming our principles.
How many projects are in the pipeline, and the status of implementation?
There are about nine projects in pipeline during the 11th and 12th Plans,
including the project at Tuticorin which got GoI approval. Every measure is
being taken to bring these projects into reality. In southern region, four
projects are envisaged including Tuticorin project in which NLC has 89 per cent
equity stake. The other projects: A lignite-based power project in Jayamkondam,
Tamil Nadu, with installed capacity of 2x800 mw and mine capacity of 13.5
million tpa. Feasibility and environmental study are in progress. A thermal
power plant of 2x500 mw capacity in Neyveli, augmented with lignite availability
from all existing mines. Thermal power station-III of 2x500 mw capacity in
Neyveli is envisaged with a linked mine-III of capacity 8 million tpa.
In central and western regions, five projects are envisaged. They are: Neyveli
Lignite has proposed to develop a lignite mine of 2.5 million tpa annum capacity
at Hadla, Rajasthan with linked thermal power project extension of 250 mw to the
ongoing power plant in Barsingsar. The feasibility report for the project and
environmental study are under way.
A joint venture company with a Gujarat government nominated company of power
capacity of 1,000 mw with linked lignite mine capacity of 8 million tpa. A 4x500
mw coal-based mega thermal power plant in Orissa where Mahanadi Coalfieds Ltd
will supply coal. An agreement has been entered into by NLC, MCL (a subsidiary
of Coal India Ltd) and Hindalco Industries Ltd to form a joint venture to mine
coal from the Talibara coal block in Orissa.
Neyveli Lignite Corporation has initiated dialogues with subsidiaries of Coal
India Ltd to work out feasibility for forming a joint venture to set up power
projects near their coal mines and integrate their coal mines in this joint
venture and Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd to set up a power project in
How much total capacity addition does NLC envisage during 11th & 12th Plans?
NLC has envisaged a total capacity addition of about 11,000 mw during 11th and
12th Plans, in addition to the existing capacity of 2,490 mw. This includes the
ongoing projects in Rajasthan and Neyveli.
[May 19-25, 2008]