Special Correspondent

Mine-II expansion, TPS-II expansion under construction

Approval sought

to trade with

un-allocated power

CHENNAI: The Centre has accorded sanction to the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) for setting up 1,000 MW capacity coal based power plant at Tuticorin.

The 2 X 500 MW power plants will be implemented as a joint venture by the NLC and the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), S. Jayaraman, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of NLC, announced on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Mr. Jayaraman said that the Centre had sanctioned advance action proposal for Hadla Lignite mine-cum-power project (2.5 Million Tonnes Per Annum lignite mine with linked 250 MW power plant) and Thermal Power project at Neyveli (2 X 500 MW) in lieu of the Thermal Power Station-I.

The NLC, he said, at present operated three Opencast Lignite mines of total capacity of 24 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and three thermal power stations with a total installed capacity of 2,490 MW.

Pointing out that the lignite production for the company as a whole during 2007-08 was at 21.586 tonnes as against 21.014 (MT) during the previous year, Mr. Jayaraman said lignite production of 3.327 MT from mine-IA during 2007-08 exceeded the installed capacity of 3.00 MT for the fourth year in succession.

The projects under construction included mine-II expansion (4.5 MTPA of lignite) from 10.5 MTPA to 15.0 MTPA at a capital cost of Rs.2161.28 crore; and the TPS-II expansion (2 units of 250 MW each) at a cost of Rs.2030.78 crore.

When asked about the status of the disinvestment proposal of the NLC, Mr.Jayaraman replied that “We have not heard anything from the Government and there is no movement of the proposal.”

Referring to power allocation and the trading plans of the NLC, Mr. Jayaraman noted that there was very little freedom given to engage in power trading. “We have sought the approval of the Government to trade with un-allocated power from the present average price of Rs.1.70 paise”, he added.

He said the profit after tax of the NLC stood at Rs.1101.57 crore for 2007-08 as against Rs.566.78 crore in 2006-07, registering a growth of 94 per cent.

Accordingly, the Corporation has paid an interim dividend of 10 per cent which amounts to Rs.167.77 crore for 2007-08. The Board of Directors have recommended a final dividend of 10 per cent totalling 20 per cent for the year with an outflow of Rs.335.54 crore.