Neyveli Lignite eyeing Indonesia, South Africa coal mines

Chennai, May 27 (IANS) Integrated mining and power producer Neyveli Lignite Corporation Thursday said it is exploring possibilities for buying coal mines in Indonesia and South Africa.

The public sector company is also looking at setting up ultra mega power projects along the coast near here while scrapping its Orissa project and giving up nuclear and hydel power ambitions, said a top company official.

‘We are exploring the possibilities of acquiring coal mines in Indonesia and South Africa so that we can set up thermal power plants along the coast and need not wait for coal linkages,’ chairman and managing director A.R. Ansari told reporters here.

He said a 2.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) coal mine would cost around Rs.400 crore.

According to him, the company is not pursuing plans for nuclear power and a thermal power project in Orissa. It is now interested in setting up ultra mega thermal power projects.

‘Nuclear power projects in India take inordinate time to complete, for example the Kudankulam power project. The response of the Orissa government to set up a power project there is very lukewarm and hence that plan may not take off,’ he added.

He said the company is interested in setting up a 2,000 MW thermal power project along the Tamil Nadu coast – between Tuticorin and Chennai and also a 4,000 MW project at Cheyyar near here.

Ansari said a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Uttar Pradesh government is likely to be signed for setting up

of a 2,000 MW thermal plant at Kanpur.

‘Our idea is to increase the mining capacity to 79.85 mpta (lignite and coal) and power generation to 13,790 MW by the end of XII Plan period.

Ansari said one unit of 2×250 MW project in Neyveli will be commissioned this year and the second unit next March.

The company closed last fiscal with a turnover of Rs.4,121.03 crore and a net profit of Rs.1,247.46 crore as against Rs.3,354.91 crore turnover and Rs.821.09 crore net posted in 2008-09.