NLC India Ltd is one of India’s leading Public sector company engaged in lignite mining and power generation. Established in 1956, its operations are spreading throughout the country. In all its 60 years service to the Nation, this brown Coal Company has been a pioneer and trend-setter for breaking its achievements in lignite mining and power generation year by year. Keeping face with the changing business trends, NLCIL has diversified into renewable energy and coal mining business in India .NLCIL has included its Commitment to environment protection and Sustainable development as its corporate objective since inception. NLCIL undertakes wide range of Sustainability development projects and Corporate Social Responsibility measures for the environment protection, community and rural development thus ensuring the sustainable development of the company. NLCIL is a Navratna Company which believes that "Sustainable development , Environment Protection and eco- care is blended into every act of our business and activity and has become part and parcel of its existence ." NLCIL is a socially responsible company guided by ethical governance. NLCIL not only produce lignite and generate power, but also help building infrastructure, irrigate large tracts of land, promote environment and ecology, meet the power requirement of users and contribute to the overall wellbeing of society. NLCIL have implemented several new initiatives like augmenting water resources through deepening and de-silting of water bodies at different locations in Tamil Nadu and are in the process of replicating the same in the areas of its operation across the Country. NLCIL related initiatives include promotion of aqua culture, water harvesting and providing drinking water through RO based water vending kiosks in various parts of the country specifically at heritage sites, bus terminus where there is a large public gathering.
NLCIL does not believe in profit alone as its prime objective but follows the policy of integrating People and Planet. Corporate Sustainability vision addresses Society, Environment, and Economy for the success of the company and for the well being of the various stakeholders. NLCIL’s philosophy on sustainability is to contribute for a greener and healthier planet and hand it over to the future generations.
NLCIL maintains a strong focus on sustainable development with conservation of natural resources being integrated into all activities. NLCIL’s strategy is to have minimum impact on environment and fulfil the aspirations of various stakeholders. Thrust areas include environment improvement programme such as eco restoration in mines, massive afforestation programmes, rainwater harvesting, waste utilization, and conservation of bio-diversity, effective water and energy management, pollution control, mitigating the impact of climate change. NLCIL is proactive in training its employees in Environment Management.
The company also pursues appropriate standards in safety, quality, energy efficiency, clean mining techniques, emission controls and environment management
Further to NLCIL’s implementation of the philosophy on sustainability, NLCIL India also meets the statutory requirement as stipulated by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) over its Guidelines on Sustainable Development for Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE).
NLCIL has framed its own Sustainable Development Policy taking into consideration the magnitude and nature of core business activity and fulfilling aspirations of the Stakeholders and protecting the Environment. NLC India is undertaking number of sustainability development issues year after year.
1.0 Ecology: Reclamation and reuse of lands in Mines.
Excavation of soil is a pre-requisite for extraction of lignite. Specialized Mining Equipments are used to mine lignite. Several hectares of land is disturbed every year due to the Mining operation. Even at the Project formulation stage, NLCIL India has planned for refilling and reclamation of mined out area to maintain the productivity of land and to control pollution such as soil erosion, water pollution etc. The concept of reclamation is given due importance. NLCIL is reclaiming the mined out area and overburden dumps. Integrated Farming System (IFS), a novel method has been developed in collaboration with Tamilnadu Agricultural University for reclamation of backfilled areas. The external over dumps created during the initial opening of the Mine cuts are being converted into vegetative one making it fit for habitation. NLCIL has also developed techniques by carrying out a Project named Slope Stabilization of the Mines for afforesting the Over Burden dumps. Every year about 100 hectares of mined out land is reclaimed for afforestation, agricultural and horticulture crops. An orchard has been developed by planting different varieties of fruit bearing trees and also herbal cultivation is undertaken in the reclaimed area to cater the needs of Ayurvedic dispensary of NLC India and also public. The yield from this reclaimed land is as good as the yield from natural and normal agricultural lands. This year ( 2016-17), it was planned to reclaim about 100 hectares of mined out land in all the three operating mines of NLCIL at Neyveli and about 105.50 hectares of land has been reclaimed. No of trees planted is 1,10,485 against the target of 1,00,000.
2.0 Training programme on Sustainable Development for women
This Project resolves to educate the womenfolk on Sustainable Development and aims at disseminating information about environment, environmental protection, the ability to cope with the problems and stressing the importance of a sustainable approach. The main message of this Project is effectively transferred to the women employees and through them to other members of their families and to the society by engaging an Green Path expert faculty in this field.
Women employees were taught about the concept of Green home, Zero waste, water conservation, Rain water harvesting, energy conservation, green house effect and efforts needed to mitigate global warming, Green foods, organic farming, vermin composting etc., wherein they learn how to collect waste and prepare composts, about noise pollution, and Citizen’s social responsibility towards environment protection, conservation of bio diversity and cultural values and heritage. The training was imparted utilising the services of expert consultant. So far, About 80 Women Employees, Executives and Non Executives of NLC India benefited from this programme.
3.0 Sequestration of CO2 and Production of Biofuel from Flue gas of Thermal power plant
NLCIL has put up a pilot plant to sequest CO2 from one of the boilers by erecting photo-bioreactor of 1000 litre capacity and algae is produced. Algae are processed to produce biodiesel. NLCIL has successfully carried out this pilot project for the first time in India as algae grows faster and absorbs more CO2 than a tree. This project is first of its kind as a the CO2 sequestration is carried out in an operating Thermal Power Station-I expansion to address climate change problem.
4.0 Resource Conservation / Reduction of waste
a. Reduction of emissions/energy consumption:
Every year the stringent norms are fixed for specific fuel consumption, secondary oil consumption and Auxiliary energy consumption for Mining and Thermal Units. The norms are fixed based on CERC guidelines, present system configuration, life of the plant etc. NLCIL's Thermal Power Station-I Expansion was adjudged as Best Environment Managed Thermal Power station on all India basis based on Energy consumption and pollution control. The Units are instructed up to meet the energy conservation norms. The NLCIL mines have obtained Energy conservation awards from Ministry of Power for the year 2012-13 & 2013-14
b. Reduce water use:
The entire quantity of storm water pumped during mining of lignite of about 20,000 GPM is used to meet the domestic water requirement of Township and to meet the water requirements of Thermal Power station-II and its expansion ( 1970 MW). The treated waste water from the mines benefits the nearby agricultural community and pumping out of ground water for agricultural purposes in the nearby villages is prevented.
c. Reduce waste
The fly ash generated in the power stations is utilized for constructive use like cement manufacture, fly ash bricks blocks etc. besides number of innovative technologies developed on the recycling of fly ash. Construction waste material is used in concrete manufacture. Plastic waste is converted into pellets and used with tar for road laying. Fly ash is used for road formation and Ash bund formation. NLCIL has been awarded 'Fly ash Utilization Award-2017' from Mission Energy Foundation for effective utilization of Fly ash.
Innovation-1 : Replacement of river sand by bottom ash :
This is an in-house plan S&T project implemented by NLCIL & VIT University , Vellore. The physical properties of bottom ash generated in Thermal power plants are similar to that of river sand, this can be utilized in cement concrete and other construction activities as partial replacement for river sand. With this objective a joint project was taken with VIT/Vellore Structural Engineering Division. Studies on physical properties of bottom ash, making mortar cubes with various mix proportions and the strength properties, comparison with river sand were carried out. It is observed that mixture with bottom ash gives good strength in both mortar cube and concrete. A model building has been constructed, inaugurated and opened in NLCIL to complex demonstrate and verify the laboratory findings in actual situation. Action initiated to utilize the bottom ash generated in NLCIL Thermal Power Plants in construction activities as partial replacement for river sand.
Innovation-2. Synthesis of Zeolites from Lignite fly ash and its efficiency in cooling water treatment- Phase I: The circulating water systems of Thermal power stations are prone to scaling in the walls of pipelines due to the presence of higher amount of calcium in the circulating water. Organo / Non-organo Phosphonate chemicals are now used to inhibit calcium scaling, which is costly. Zeolite, a known water softener can be effectively used to reduce calcium in the circulating water. Process conditions optimization and product characterization were carried out. A Bench scale level production facility was developed at CARD, trial production and lab scale of zeolite completed. Patent was filed for the Zeolite synthesis process from Neyveli Lignite fly ash.
5.0 Introduction of New Technology
a. CFBC Technology
CFBC Technology for lignite power plants which has less NOX, SO2 emission and resource conservation. This technology has been adopted at Barsingsar thermal power project and Neyveli Thermal power station-II expansion.
b. Supercritical and Ultra super critical boilers (660 MW/800MW) are planned
Supercritical and Ultra super critical boilers (660 MW/800MW) are planned for upcoming Lignite / coal based projects under implementation. Implementation of Renewable energy technology with Zero carbon footprint is encouraged in a big way.
c. Canteen Food waste to Biogas Technology
Industrial canteens in NLCIL generate certain amount of food and vegetable waste daily which can be utilized for better purposes. Production of Biogas from food waste requires an Organic Processing Facility which will be more cost effective, eco-friendly, cut down on landfill waste, keep the surrounding free from health hazards, generate a high-quality renewable fuel, and reduce carbon dioxide & methane emissions. A 50 litre capacity Food waste Biogas digester was installed at Mine-II Canteen where the food waste generated is fed as feedstock for the reactor which works as an anaerobic digester system. The anaerobic digestion of food waste produces biogas, a valuable energy resource. Anaerobic digestion is a microbial process for production of biogas, which consists of primarily methane (CH4) & carbon dioxide (CO2). Biogas is used as energy source in the canteen. For the reactor, an Inoculum of cow dung slurry was added and kept for 10 to 15 days and then the food waste was added to develop our own Inoculum. In this digester, the production of biogas and methane was noticed .On intermittent feeding of food waste pulp, the slurry is pushed out and it can be used as manure. The slurry was tested in our CARD Laboratory and the NPK values are encouraging. It is proposed to extend this technology to other industrial canteens of NLCIL
6.0 Renewable Energy Power generation
As a diversification move and as a socially responsible Corporate Citizen, NLCIL has taken following Green Energy initiatives: