New Delhi: State-run Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Limited (NLCIL) has received three bids in response to the tender floated for a 0.40 MMTPA Lignite-to-Methanol project last year, two sources aware of the matter told PSU Watch. According to sources, the three bids for the lignite gasification project came from L&T, Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) and UK-based Petrofac. The project is expected to be a shot in the arm for India’s efforts towards coal gasification, especially high ash coal, which is found in abundance in India. Lignite, referred to as brown coal, is actually a kind of coal but with a high carbon content of around 25–35 percent. It is considered the lowest rank of coal due to its relatively low heat content.
While several technologies are available for gasification of low-ash coal across the globe, technologies for gasification of high-ash coal are limited.
In October 2022, NLC had floated a global tender for awarding the project through project management consultancy (PMC) Engineers India Limited (EIL) for gasification block (LEPC-1) of its Lignite-to-Methanol project at Neyveli. The project is part of NLC’s diversification plan. The PSU is setting up a Lignite-to-Methanol capacity of 1,200 TPD (tonne per day) (0.40 MTPA) at a capital cost of about Rs 4,400 crore. The project is expected to be commissioned in 2027.