By Sarkaritel September 21, 2017 12:24


This is in response to certain reports in the media regarding shifting of some projects from Sirkazhi, Nagapattinam District, Tamilnadu to Odisha State. NLC India Limited hereby clarifies the rationale and compulsions under which the Sirkazhi Thermal Power Project was shelved and how alternate projects in Tamilnadu have been proposed by the company as compensation.  We request your good self to publish the same in your esteemed Daily so that all misconceptions prevailing among the public due to news reports in some newspapers pertaining to this issue are cleared.

The Union Coal Ministry had allocated the Jilga-Barpali coal block in the state of Chattisgarh to NLCIL during the year 2013.  Subsequently, NLCIL had planned to utilize the fuel from the coal Mine to feed its 4000 MW coal based Thermal Power Station to be installed in Sirkazhi of Nagapattinam District of Tamilnadu, which was proposed to be established in two stages.  But the preliminary investigations done at Jilga-Barpali coal blocks area revealed that this coal block was not techno-economically viable for exploitation.  Hence, the company approached the Union Ministry to allot new coal blocks.  Based on that, the Government of India allocated Talabira I & II block in Odisha State.

As per the original proposal for Sirkazhi TPS, the coal from Jilga-Barpali Mines was to be transported by road to the nearest railway head and from there to Sirkazhi by waterway, for which purpose, a new harbour was to be established at Sirkazhi for unloading the coal. All these infrastructure would invariably invariable require huge funds.  Moreover, the entire project was envisaged at a time when a demand for power existed and the cost of power prevailing then was high.

But in the present situation when solar energy is available for Rs.2.50 per unit, it is very difficult to run the project with high input fuel cost.  The cost of generation cost would probably over-run the rate mentioned in the Power Purchase Agreement signed with southern states.  It was based on these facts that the board of directors of NLCIL decided not to pursue the Sirkazhi power project.

In the meantime, it was observed that establishing a pit head Thermal Power Station near Talabira Mines would be more viable, instead of transporting the coal down south.  The cost of power generators for the proposed power stations including the charges for transmitting the power to southern states through national grid would be well within the limit and the project would be feasible.  Hence, it is on this basis that NLCIL is planning to establish a 6 x 660 MW Thermal Power Project at Talibara, Orissa, in two stages.

New projects for TN to compensate Sirkazhi Thermal Project.

In the meantime, after the shelving of the Sirkazhi project, NLCIL has proposed to set up various power projects totalling 5300 MW capacity in different places of Tamilnadu to compensate for the 4000 MW Sirkazhi project:

  • TPS-II – 2nd expansion at Neyveli (4 x 660 MW) at two stages 2640 MW
  • Solar Power project at Neyveli 130 MW
  • Solar power projects at various places of TN 500 MW
  • Solar power projects at various places of TN for TANGEDCO 709 MW
  • Wind Power projects at various places of TN for TANGEDCO 50 MW
  • One more Unit at NTPL, Thoothukudi by using the excess coal

available at Talibara                                                                                       800 MW

  • In addition NLC will have the possibility for establishing a 450 MW

wind mill p roject at various places of TN for TANGEDCO                        450 MW


By analyzing the data one can conclude that, NLCIL has planned to set up projects to the tune of about 5300 MW in Tamilnadu in future, to compensate the winding up of 4000 MW Sirkali Thermal Project.  Moreover to feed the TPS-II 2nd Expansion, the company has planned to establish two lignite mines of each 11.5 Million tonnes per annum at Neyveli (Mine-III) and Palayamkottai and south of Vellar.  The cost of Mines and 5300 MW  Power Projects, will mean that NLCIL would be investing almost double the amount when compared to the cost of Sirkazhi project which will fetch a sizeable employment.

Due to non-viability, NLCIL earlier  has wound up Mine cum power project at Gujarat, Power projects at Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal and coal mine project at Chattisgarh. Even in Tamilnadu too, the Jayamkondam Mine cum Power Project at Devangudi Mines were dropped as they were economically not viable.

NLCIL is spreading its wings in all parts of the Nation. But the company always feels that Tamilnadu is the home town and Neyveli is the birthplace of NLC India.  That is why, when incorporating a joint venture company to install 3 x 660 MW to TPS at Uttar Pradesh, NLCIL named the new company as “Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Limited.” Even after implementing the action plan assured by NLCIL for the year 2025, Tamilnadu will have more projects than other States.

By Sarkaritel September 21, 2017 12:24