NMDC Limited and NLC India Limited (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation) may invest over USD 26 million for setting up an R&D facility for developing innovative technologies in iron and steel making.Senior executives of NMDC Limited and NLC India Limited are expected to visit Australia to sign a joint R&D agreement with Environmental Clean Technologies Limited (ECT) an Australian company expert in commercialising leading-edge coal and iron-making technologies, sources close to the development said.
“NMDC has a Board meeting on May 28.Afinal decision will be taken with regard tothe signing of MoU with ECT.” “A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be created upon completion of the R&D phase of the project, with ECT 49 per cent, NLC 25.5 per cent and NMDC 25.5 per cent stakes,”sources told PTI. Following successful phase one R&D outcomes, the agreement provides the framework to proceed with a commercial-scale integrated steel-making facility by the SPV, sources added.
According to a regulatory filing by the Aussie firmin Australian Securities Exchange, theNLC and NMDC will sign the Master Project Agreement (MPA) with ECT to establish world’s first Australian-designed Coldry and Matmor plant in Tamil Nadu. It is aimed at diversifying the use of lignite (brown coal) in the generation of electricity and production of steel at lower cost with significantly lower CO2emissions.
“Innovative Australian-developed technologies aimed at lower cost, lower emission iron and steel production utilising lower grade or waste iron ore and low-rank coal resources MPA to be signed in Canberra ( Australian capital) in the presence of available Minister(s) and Indian dignitaries… “Indian partners ( NMDC and NLC) to contribute 100 per cent of the project funds AUD35m ( approximately over USD 26.29 million),” the filing said highlighting the key points.
“The parties have previously contemplated the potential scope for the commercial phase via the techno-economic feasibility study completed in July 2016, which includes a notional capacity of 500,000 tonnes per annum steel output and an estimated AUD300 million capital investment.The site for the R&D plant has been chosen to allow room for expansion into a commercial-scale facility,” the Australian company said. India is the perfect place to develop our technologies and the country’s national iron ore and lignite miners, NMDC and NLC, are ideal partners, ECT Chairman, Glenn Fozardsaid. Matmor and Coldry process is used in iron ore purification.>