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NLC trade unions wary of 5% stake divestment plan

The Coal Ministry has conveyed to the Department of Disinvestment (DoD) the apprehensions of Neyveli Lignite's trade unions with regard to the proposed five per cent stake sale in the PSU through offer for sale.

The development follows the Coal Ministry giving a letter to DoD on five per cent stake sale in Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).

'The Coal Ministry has forwarded to DoD the apprehensions of trade unions of NLC with regard to the proposed 5 per cent stake sale in the PSU,' a source close to the development said.

The government had earlier said that the proposed stake sale in NLC is 'not necessary' in the fiscal 2012-13 as this has to be completed only before July 2013.

The government, which currently holds 93.5 per cent in NLC has been trying for past few years to sell stake in the PSU. However, opposition from trade unions as well as on the political front has stalled its attempts.

Recently, NLC invited bids from global firms to acquire coal assets overseas for providing fuel security to its thermal power plants.

The state-owned firm has proposals for growth in power generation capacity and is expanding its activities not only at Neyveli, but also in other parts of the country.

It has entered into a joint venture with Uttar Pradesh to set up a 1,980 MW power station at Ghatampur.

NLC also has a proposal to establish a power plant with a capacity of 4,000 MW at Sirkali in Tamil Nadu. It is also planning to bid for ultra mega power projects (UMPP) of 4,000 MW under tariff based competitive bidding.

The shares of the company closed at Rs 65.90 a scrip on BSE on Thursday, a gain of 0.30 per cent from the previous close.


POWERGRID DEVELOPING RS 1,300 CRORE GRID SECURITY SYSTEM


State-run Power Grid Corp is developing an advanced grid security system, worth Rs 1,300 crore, as part of efforts to boost the country's electricity transmission network and stave off possible cyber attacks on the power systems.

The proposed security system is part of larger measures being initiated by the Power Ministry to prevent recurrence of events like last year's massive collapse of grids that affected more than half of country's total population.

According to a Power Ministry document, central transmission utility Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) is in the process of 'developing a Grid Security Expert System (GSES) at an estimated cost of Rs 1,300 crore'.The project involves laying of optical fibre network costing about Rs 1,100 crore for reliable communication and control of under-frequency and load shedding, among others.

Already, Power Grid -- which manages electricity grids across the country -- has a dedicated independent communication network.

The grid security expert system would help in having a proper communication/IT network utilising dedicated fibres to avoid any cyber attack on the power system.

Power Grid's responsibility includes planning, co-ordination and control over inter-state transmission system as well as the operation of national and regional grids.

Following the worst ever grid failures witnessed in the country in 2012, the Power Ministry has initiated various steps including setting up of National Power Committee (NPC) to ensure better management of grid system.
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