Management planning to acquire coal fields in foreign countries such as Australia, South Africa

For expediting the implementation of the ongoing power projects and those in the pipeline the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, a Navratna company, has proposed to procure equipment from foreign suppliers and indigenous companies that would obtain the materials from abroad, said A.R.Ansari, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, NLC.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, Mr. Ansari said the NLC had thought of engaging alternative equipment suppliers because it was facing constraints in procuring boilers and turbines.

If the delay in delivery was six–eight months, it was manageable but if it was more than two–three years behind schedule it would create problems. In such an eventuality there should be penal clauses holding both the “suppliers and owners” accountable, said Mr Ansari.

Asked what would be the preferred sources for equipment supply, the Chairman said it could be Russia, Italy and a consortium of companies. Foreign companies or the consortium of companies would fabricate, erect and commission the project on a turn-key basis.

About the status of the ongoing power project, Mr. Asnari said Unit-I (250 MW) of the Thermal Power Station-II Expansion in Neyveli would begin commercial production by June 2012.

The work on the erection of the second unit was in full swing. The 1,000-MW Tuticorin power project, a joint venture of the NLC and the Tamil Nadu Generation and Production Corporation, was expected to commissionin 2013.

The Centre had also sanctioned 1,000-MW New Thermal Power Project at Neyveli to be set up at a cost of Rs. 5,907.11 crore and it was scheduled to commissionin another 54 months.

When pointed out that for tiding over the present power crisis the people of Tamil Nadu were looking to the NLC, Mr. Ansari said the company was always giving priority to the State because it had helped in solving many problems.

For instance, the NLC proposed to set up wind and solar power projects to generate 75 MW by this year-end and the entire power could be allotted to Tamil Nadu. However, he pleaded his inability to apportion additional power to Tamil Nadu from NLC units , as power sharing was governed by the “Gadgil formula” and it was up to the Union Power Ministry to decide on this factor. As for the Jayamkondam project, Mr. Ansari said though the place had rich lignite reserves to run 2,000-MW to 2,500-MW power plant, land acquisition was posing a problem because of the dense population and that too many educational institutions were sitting over the lignite deposit.

‘Maha Ratna' status

Mr. Ansari said the NLC had set its vision to attain ‘Maha Ratna' status by 2030 and for which it had to augment its mining and generation capacity.

Therefore, the NLC was set to acquire coal fields in foreign countries such as Australia and South Africa.

The NLC would not go for exploration and setting up of new mines because it would be a time-consuming affair. Therefore, it would look for functional mines and soon an official team would tour the countries to identify the foreign coal fields.

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