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Government revises norms for coal-run power plants to minimise pollution

NEW DELHI(PTI): In a bid to minimise pollution, the government has notified revised standards for coal-based thermal power plants and made it “most stringent” for those plants which will be installed in the future.

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The coal-based thermal power plants have now been categorised into three categories, those installed before 2003, those after it till December 31, 2016 and those that will be installed after December 31 in 2016.

“The Environment Ministry has notified the revised standards for coal-based thermal power plants in the country, with the primary aim of minimising pollution. These standards are proposed to be implemented in a phased manner,” an official statement said.

According to the Environment Ministry, the new standards are aimed at reducing emission of PM10 (0.98 kg/MWh), sulphur dioxide (7.3 Kg/MWh) and Oxide of nitrogen (4.8 kg/MWh), which, in turn, will help in bringing about an improvement in the Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) in and around thermal power plants.

The revised standards are based on the recommendation of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Ministry held extensive consultations with stakeholders regarding the matter.

It also placed these standards on its website to seek comments and after detailed discussions in the expert committee under the ministry, the standards were notified in the Gazette of India on December 7 this year.

Similarly, the Environment Ministry said that the technology employed for the control of the proposed limit of Sulfur Dioxide – SO2 and Nitrogen Oxide – NOx will also help in control of mercury emission (at about 70-90%) as a co-benefit.

Noting that thermal power plants are water-intensive industry, the Ministry said limiting the use of water in thermal power plant will lead to water conservation (about 1.5 M3/MWh) and also lead to a reduction in energy requirement for drawl of water.

“The standards have been made stringent for recent plants, compared to earlier ones and most stringent for those plants to be set up in future,” the statement said.

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