Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited (NLC), a "Navratna" was set up in 1956. A pioneer among the public sector undertakings in the energy sector, its chairman and managing director B Surender Mohan spoke to Hindustan Times on a range of issues. Excerpts:
What are your current mining and power generating capacities and their utilisation level?
At present, NLC operates four lignite mines of 30.6 million tonnes of lignite per annum capacity.
These include three opencast mines of 28.5 million tonnes at Neyveli and one lignite mine of 2.1 million tonnes at Barsingsar in Rajasthan.
The company also has 2,740 mega watts of power-generating capacity.
These include three thermal power stations of the capacity of 2490 mega watt at Neyveli and a thermal power station of capacity of 250mw at Barsingsar in Rajasthan.
The capacity utilisation of mines is in the order of 85%-90% and the thermal power stations are operating with a plant load factor (PLF) of around 80%.
How do you plan to use your Navaratna status to leverage the NLC to greater heights? Is your long-term ambition to become a Maharatna company?
Lignite is a major alternate and important resource of energy in the country. To match with the government policy of "power for all", it is necessary for NLC to grow in coal mining and coal-based power generation apart from lignite mining and lignite-based power generation.
The NLC needs to consolidate and continue to be the leading player in the domestic lignite sector. To meet the growing obligation towards the energy security of the country - a mammoth task is ahead.
The enhanced Navratna status will help in early implementation of planned mine and power projects. The NLC is poised for a rapid growth in the mining and power generation capacity and is expanding its activities not only at Neyveli but also in other parts of the country.
NLC with its ambitious projections of capacity addition during the 12th plan plans to become a Maharatna company.
What is the current status of your expansion projects?
At present, NLC is implementing a 500 MW (2x250 MW) lignite-based thermal power station -II expansion at Neyveli a coal-based thermal power plant of capacity 1,000 mw(2x500mw) at Thoothukudi, a new lignite-based thermal power station at Neyveli (2x500mw), wind power plant (50mw) and solar photo voltaic project (10mw).
As an initiative towards generation of green power, the NLC has proposed to set up wind power project of capacity 50mw at an estimated cost of Rs 364.75 crore.
The company's board has accorded in-principle approval for setting up of 10mw solar photo voltaic project at Neyveli.
What is the current status of the Thoothukudi project? Is there any delay?
For the Thoothukudi project, drum lifting for both the units has been completed in September 2011.
Construction of dedicated coal jetty for transportation of coal to the power plant has been completed. Erection of boilers, coal and ash handling plants, switch yard, chimney and cooling towers are in progress. Contract for shore un-loader and coal washing and logistics and other peripheral works have been awarded, fuel linkage for this project is being tied up with Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, a subsidiary company of Coal India Limited.
The unit-I is expected to be commissioned in December 2013 and unit-II in March 2014.
Can you elaborate on the financial status of the NLC during 2011-12?
During the years 2011-12, the company registered a total sales of Rs 4,866.85 crore as against Rs 4,295.95 crore in the year 2010-11. The Profit After Tax (PAT) for the year 2011-12 was Rs 1411.33 crore as against Rs 1,298.33 crore recorded during 2010-11.