U.S. Trade and Development Agency

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MEDIA ADVISORY                                                                                              MEDIA INQUIRIES:

  Donna Thiessen 

                                                                                                                                                                        (703) 875-4357




NEW DELHI – (March 13, 2006) Increasing India’s electricity production to meet growing demands, while improving mining operations and lowering costs, is the objective of a U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) grant awarded today to Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC).  The $360,000 grant will fund technical assistance associated with the proposed use of alternate mining technology (AMT) for the Mine-III expansion project near Neyveli Township in Tamil Nadu, India. 


The grant was conferring in a signing ceremony held at the offices of NLC in Chennai, India.  Consul General David Hopper from the U.S. Consulate in Chennai and Chairman S. Jayaraman signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Indian governments, respectively.  USTDA Country Manager Marian Bassett and NLC Director K.S. Anandan signed as witnesses to the grant agreement. 


In undertaking this major mine expansion project, NLC, a state-owned enterprise under India’s Ministry of Coal, is evaluating the feasibility of using AMT versus the specialized mining equipment that is currently in use at the mine.  The USTDA-funded technical assistance will assess the viability of AMT technology under the conditions at Mine-III to determine if it offers a lower cost solution to extending the mine life and increasing ultimate recovery.


The proposed mine extension includes linking the increased production to a possible new thermal power station having 1000 megawatt capacity.  If implemented, the mine extension and power station will enable NLC to provide a more reliable supply in helping to meet India’s growing demand for electricity. 


The opportunity to provide this technical assistance under the grant awarded today will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at  Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement.  NLC will select the U.S. contractor that will provide the assistance. 


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.  The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, feasibility studies, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.  USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.  In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.