The State government on Tuesday entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Great Eastern Energy Corporation Limited (GEECL) for production of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) in the Mannargudi area covering Tiruvarur and Thanjavur districts.

A government release here stated that the GEECL proposed to invest Rs.100 crore initially for the exploration activity and once the commercial viability and feasibility was established, it would further invest Rs.3500 crore on production of CBM.

The project is likely to generate direct and indirect employment to about 1500 persons, besides making available CNG to the State. It will also generate revenue to the government by way of royalty, Value Added Tax etc. The government has issued Petroleum Exploration licence to the company and also agreed to facilitate the company in getting necessary approvals and clearances for the successful implementation of the project.

The MoU was signed by Rajeev Ranjan, Principal Secretary to Government, Industries Department, and Yogendra Kumar Modi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GEECL, in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin. GEECL is the first company to commercialise Coal Bed Methane (CBM) in India. The company produces CBM from a block in Raniganj, West Bengal, and supplies to various industrial consumers in and around Assansol/Durgapur, West Bengal. It also supplies Compressed Natural Gas to vehicles through the outlets of Indian Oil Corporation Limited.