Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), that functions under Ministry of Coal, is set to foray into steel industry. The company is planning to set up an R&D integrated plant for Coldry-Matmor processing on pilot basis. NLC, NMDC and Environmental Clean Technology Ltd Australia are jointly conducting feasibility study. Scale R&D Integrated Plant at Neyveli for Coldry-Matmor process will get a value added product using lignite and iron ore, said NLC. NLC has taken up many R&D studies on developing value added products from Lignite. These includes activated carbon, for using in water treatment process, Humic acid as a organic fertilizers, etc. NLC also proposes to take up R&D studies on developing another value added product from Lignite. Environmental Clean Technologies Ltd., Australia to help NLC going for a process being developed by them called MATMOR Process.
In this process, reduction of moisture in lignite will be done through Coldry process and iron ore will be added to make pellets which could be utilised in iron ore purification process where iron ingots with more than 95 per cent purity can be produced, said NLC. By this effort, alternate use of lignite could be developed into commercial products, value addition can be done for the lignite resources available in the country. Feasibility study on setting up an integrated pilot project of 'MATMOR' processes at Neyveli. To carry out Pilot Plant Feasibility study on suitability of Lignite to use it as a substitute for Metallurgical Coke to find out the optimum plant size, cost and marketability of finished product. Scope of the study includes ECT to share the technology of Integrated MATMOR WITH NMDC & NLC and to oversee the execution of the project at every stage. NMDC to supply the iron ore suitable for the process, while NLC to supply lgnite, space and other infrastructures. NLC said that advantages of MATMORE Process over traditional blast furnaces includes replacement of expensive metallurgical coal by cheap, abundantly available lignite in Neyveli. The opportunity to replace expensive high grade Iron ore (60% +Fe) with cheaper; low grade Iron ore. Able to recover iron from mill scale and other waste materials, process requires significantly less heat/energy and capital cost less than traditional blast furnaces for equivalent production capacity. Sarat Kumar Acharya, CMD, NLC said that as the process is suitable for purifying iron from the low grade iron ore, using easily available lignite, the exchange of technical know-how between India and Australia will not only benefit the companies and countries. The Feasibility Report will be ready by the month of June this year, he said. The Australian officials said that their country joins hand with NLC in the process of implementing "Make in India" Policy of Indian Government .