Neyveli is a town located about 55 km east of Cuddalore in the South Arcot district of Tamil Nadu. During the construction of irrigation wells occurrence of lignite deposits at shallow depths was noticed in Neyveli area.When systematic geological investigations were taken up in the area, occurrence of lignite over an area of 260 sq.km. with reserves of 2100 million tones discovered. Lignite is a brown coal relatively with low carbon content and high moisture content when compared to coal. Lignite beds occur at depths of 55 to 76 meters. Mining is done by open cast method. The rock layers above the lignite bed are dug out by large excavators and scattered at a distant place. The entire operation of mining of lignite is fully mechanised. Since the bed of coal occur under water numerous pumpsets are used to pump out the water to enable mining. The pumped out water is used by the power station, as domestic water supply for the township and for other purpose. In 1961 production of lignite from 2000 tones went up to 11.4 million tones in 1988-89. The lignite so mined is used for generating electricity. The first unit of power station started in 1962. There are now two power stations at Neyveli with a capacity to produce of about 1630 MW. 30 to 35 percent of power requirements of Tamil Nadu are met with by power generated at Neyveli. There is a factory set up for production of urea (Fertilizer Plant) and the annual production is more than 140,000 tones. In 1965 a plant (Briquetting and Carbonisation plant) was established for reducing the moisture content of lignite and making it into coal (LECO) for use as fuel. This plant produces more than 2400,0000 tones of coal. A Clay Washing Plant is functioning to clean the deposit of white clay and to make is suitable for the manufacture of ceramics. Neyveli with modern facilities, has grown into a large township and thus fulfills the requirements of its employees. Mining lignite at Neyveli has had a very great impact on the development of the area. More than 20,000 workers have been provided with employment. Farmers were able to extend their area under irrigation by using electricity generated at Neyveli to draw water from the wells. Farmers have been able to increase their yields by making use of urea fertilizers. A number of industries have come up around Chennai which make use of power from Neyveli. An area which was a cashew forest sheltering many snakes and scorpions has now got completely transformed and developed in to a township. Thanks to the discovery and mining of lignite.
Latest available information on Neyveli Lignite Corporation(NCL)