June 13, 2017
Times of India News Network
CUDDALORE: A fire destroyed a few lakh tonnes of lignite stored in a mine at the NLC India Limited at Neyveli in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.
NLC India officials said the company had stored tonnes of lignite mined from miniature mine I A, which was meant to supply fuel for a private power plant at Omangalam near the Neyveli township.
The lignite caught fire due to intense heat on Monday afternoon despite precautionary measures undertaken by the company. There is no causality and major loss to properties.
“Generally the incubation period to store lignite is 45 days. The miniature mine I A was established to supply fuel to the Omangalam private power plant. We have signed a fuel supply agreement with the private firm. The firm failed to transport lignite from the mine leading to accumulation of lignite in the mine. Lignite ignites spontaneously in intense heat. We have adequate precautionary measures like using water sprinklers to keep the fuel wet. Despite our efforts fire broke out,” said a NLC India Limited official.
The official rubbished claims that the fire might affect the operations of the company besides polluting the entire region with hazardous chemicals. “These types of fire accident do occur frequently in mines considering the combustible nature of Lignite. The fire is near a miniature mine located far away from the thermal plants,” he said.
The company supplies 1.7 million tonnes per annum to the private firm. “We have mined adequate lignite from the miniature mine for supplying to the private firm and hence we stopped mining operations until the private firm cleared the stored lignite,” said the official.