ANGUL: NTPC-Kaniha power unit was sitting on 350 lakh tonne of fly ash, deposited over the years in its two ash ponds.
NTPC-Kaniha was keen to get rid of it to make way for ash being produced at present.
There had been few buyers for the material since the unit was set up 13 year ago year ago.
At other locations of NTPC like Farakka, there was a long line of buyers to lift ash free of cost, says a NTPC source.
NTPC Unchahar was the first NTPC power plant to have emptied its ash pond.
Unless the ash was removed from the 1,600 acre Kaniha ash pond, the plant would face problems in disposing its fly ash soon.
Daily production of fly ash from the six 500Mw units was around 20,000 ton.
NTPC Kaniha was working out a plan for the disposal.
NTPC asked the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited, a subsidiary of Coal India Limited, to submit a feasibility report on filling abandoned coal mines with ash.
Talcher Thermal Power Station, another NTPC unit here, achieved ash disposal by supplying the material to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) for filling of the abandoned coal mine of Balanda at Talcher Coalfield.
The slurry water after being treated at the mine was being utilised for irrigation in nearby drought-prone agricultural land.
“We are ready to market our ash free – it is suitable for construction works, cement industry, land filling, mine void filling and for the use in agriculture, but so far no response is forthcoming,” says the Executive Director of NTPC-Kaniha plant, Somenath Banerjee.
A small amount of the ash is lifted by Dhenkanal–based Utkal Asbestos, he added.
He said he was hopeful that once its suitability was established, there would be no problem with sales.
Banerjee hinted at talking to the state agricultural and other authorities on disposal of fly ash from its ash pond.
Meanwhile, sources said, the National Highway Authority was likely to utilise NTPC ash for widening of the Duburi-Talcher highway in future.
( Kolkata/ Angul August 17, 2007)