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NLC makes public its Navratna status

Special Correspondent
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It plans to go for a new coal-based 2000-MW power project at Sirkazhi

NLC Chairman-cum-Managing Director A.R. Ansari addressing a press conference at Neyveli on Tuesday.— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy
NLC Chairman-cum-Managing Director A.R. Ansari addressing a press conference at Neyveli on Tuesday.— Photo: C. Venkatachalapathy

The Neyveli Lignite Corporation today made public its Navratna status, 35 days after it was conferred by President Pratibha Patil in New Delhi on April 11, 2011.

Revealing this fact at a press conference held at Neyveli on Tuesday, NLC Chairman-cum-Managing Director A.R. Ansari said that now the public sector enterprise had been elevated from the Mini-Navratna to Navratna status, based on its continuous excellence in performance in terms of electricity generation, lignite mining and turnover.

Mr. Ansari said that the honour could not have been possible without the full cooperation of the officials, employees and the workforce. All these days, the NLC could not announce its exalted status because the Model Code of Conduct was in force on account of the Assembly elections.

The Navratna status brings with it financial and administrative autonomy for the NLC, as hereafter it could decide on its own projects in the country. However, for taking up joint ventures and investing abroad, the NLC should have to get the Centre's concurrence.

In reply to a question whether the superior status would provide immunity to NLC from disinvestment, Mr. Ansari said that since the government was a major stake holder in the company only the latter had a say in this regard. By exercising its empowerment, the NLC would go for a new coal-based 2000-MW power project at Sirkazhi. Its capacity could be later scaled up to 3,000 MW and for the purpose of power generation both indigenous and imported coal would be used.

The proposed Tuticorin coal-fired power project, for which a special purpose vehicle NLC Tamil Nadu Power Ltd has been launched, would be run on 30 per cent of imported coal and 70 per cent of local coal. The 2000-MW coal-based fire project in Uttar Pradesh, on the anvil, would be totally run on indigenous coal. As for the proposed Jayamkondam power project Mr. Ansari said it would take time to materialise because the fuel reserve was found in a densely populated area. It would require displacement of 40,000 people and relocation of 12,000 houses and 75 institutions. Mr. Ansari further said that owing to delay in the supply of equipment by the Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., the Thermal Station–II expansion and Mine–II expansion project in Neyveli had fallen behind schedule by two years.

Asked whether the NLC would be required by the new regime in Tamil Nadu to gear up its production schedule to improve power situation, Mr. Ansari said that already the NLC was feeding the full quota of 1,000 MW (out of the total capacity of 2,490 MW) meant for Tamil Nadu.

Moreover, the NLC was always coordinating with the State government and soon he would meet the Chief Secretary to apprise him of the on-going projects as well as the new ventures to be taken up. About the performance, Mr. Ansari said that during 2010-2011 the NLC mined 231.442 lakh tonnes of lignite (a growth of 3.61 per cent over that of 2009-2010), generated 17879.540 million units of power (1.27 per cent increase) and exported 14969.850 million units of power (0.96 per cent increase). During 2011-2012 the NLC would achieve 5 per cent growth, thus bettering its own record, Mr. Ansari added.

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