Railways to issue tenders for solar projects on its unused land

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The Indian Railways will call tenders to award contracts to set up 3,000 mw of solar power projects on its unused land, rail and coal minister Piyush Goyal said.

State-run lignite miner and power producer NLC India will also bid aggressively for the contracts, the minister said while addressing the media on Tuesday.

NLC entered the renewable energy sector with the commissioning of a 140 mw solar photo voltaic power plant at NeyveliBSE 2.31 % and another 51 mw wind energy plant, also in Tamil Nadu. “In renewable energy, they already have about 191 mw today. It will become 300 mw by March 2018 and by 2025 it’s actually 4,251mw that they are planning. So almost 24% of their 13,700 mw capacity will be renewable energy,” the minister said.

NLC India posted a 96% increase in net profit at Rs 2,368 crore for the fiscal year ended March 2018. Its turnover grew 30% to Rs 8,672 crore.

Its mining capacity increased from 41.6 million tonnes a year as of March 2014 to 61.6 mtpa in January 2018.

Goyal said the company last year made its highest ever contribution to national exchequer — Rs 4,965 crore, or two-and-half times the previous year.

He urged the West Bengal government to accord approval for the transfer of Damodar Valley Corporation’s Raghunathpur power project to NLC India. “If they (Bengal government) had given us permission two years ago, by now we would have actually started the Raghunathpur plant and it would have started serving the people of India,” he said.

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