India-based Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) said it will invest $7.6bn in ramping up its mining production capacity to 45Mtpa by 2017.

The mining company’s current production capacity stands at 28Mtpa.

The company is also planning to acquire coal assets in Indonesia and South Africa through joint ventures (JV) with local companies. The coal assets will be used as feedstock for the company’s expansion and green field thermal power projects in India.

NLC chairperson and managing director A R Ansari told Mining Weekly that the company has a cash reserve of $1.14bn and will finance its projects in a debt:equity ratio of 70:30.

"In 2012-13, NLC will invest $1.9bn in the addition of 5Mt to our existing mining capacity and 1,500MW to our thermal power generating capacity," Ansari said. The company said it will also allocate part of the investment to increasing thermal power generation linked to its lignite mines from 2,500MW to 10,000MW.

NLC is sending a team to Germany to study new technology for a pilot lignite pelletisation project planned to be set up in Tamil Nadu, India. The first pelletisation plant costing $24m was developed in Germany, reports NLC has three lignite reserves that produce 10.5Mt, 3Mt and 10.5Mt of lignite respectively. The company also operates three lignite-based power plants in southern India with generating capacities of 600MW, 1,47 MW and 420MW respectively.