BHEL to commission 250 MW CFBC boilers for Neyveli Lignite

State-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) will commission the first 250 MW lignite-powered circulating fluidised bed combustion (CFBC) boiler at Neyveli Lignite Corporation's (NLC) complex in Tamil Nadu, later this month.

The second 250 MW unit will become operational in April or May, AV Krishnan, executive director, BHEL, Tiruchi, said. The technology for the CFBC boilers – which works on non-coal fuel, including lignite, bagasse and straw, was developed at the Tiruchi complex.

BHEL manufactures CFBC boilers in collaboration with Lurgis Lentjes Energietechnik Gmbh (LLB). The German firm's rich experience and numerous installations worldwide (including the largest CFBC unit in the world – a 250 MWe plant at Gardanne, France, in operation since April 1996), coupled with BHEL's extensive R&D and expertise in dealing with low-grade fuels provides a winning combination.

The power equipment manufacturer had supplied the first utility-sized (125 MW) CFBC boiler in India to Gujarat Industries Power Corporation's Surat Lignite Power Project, in 2000.

Krishnan was confident that BHEL would develop lignite-fired boilers of 500 MW capacity over the next five to eight years.

The boilers for the Surat lignite power project were supplied in technical collaboration with a German firm. Later, it installed two other 125 MW capacity boilers at NLC's mine at Barsingsar in Rajasthan.