Several lakh tonnes of fly ash dumped openly causing severe air, water and land pollution.
The National Green Tribunal has directed NTPC Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh to pay an interim compensation of Rs 10 crore for breach of its fly ash dyke into the Govind Vallabh Pant Sagar ‘Rihand Reservoir‘.
The court directed the Central Pollution Control Board to ensure scientific disposal of fly ash as per the statutory notification issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) under the provisions of Environment Protection Act, requiring 100 per cent utilisation.
NTPC, the largest coal based energy producer has a plan to 100% utilization targeted of Fly Ash by 2021. With a total installed capacity of 62110 MW, NTPC Group has 70 Power stations comprising of 24 Coal, 7 combined cycle Gas/Liquid Fuel, 1 Hydro, 13 Renewables along with 25 Subsidiary & JV Power Stations.
Sustainable ash utilization is one of the key concerns at larger organization NTPC, which adopted Ash Policy in 2015, which addresses the plans and vision for ash utilization in an integrated way from generation to end product.
As per NTPC Sustainability report Fly Ash utilization is a major part of Sustainability initiative. It has achieved 100% utilization of Fly Ash at 7 stations. “In FY19, seven of our stations achieved 100% ash utilization. We plan to achieve company-wide 100% ash utilization by FY21.”, Company’s Sustainability Report revealed.
“Overall we achieved 63.71% ash utilization, which is an increase of about 20% from the previous year in absolute terms.”, the report said.
This Ash Policy aims at maximizing utilization of ash for productive usage along with fulfilling social and environmental obligations, as a green initiative in protecting the nature and giving a better environment.
Besides this, dry fly ash is provided to cement industries and ash brick manufacturer and on tying up with NHAI and SHA. Pond ash is given for road-construction in considerable quantity. We are also working on developing various value products from ash like geopolymer roads, light weight aggregate, building material etc.
Ash is discharged into ash pond in which fugitive ash emission is effectively control led by maintaining sufficient water layer over disposal ash. Dry fly ash is issued to cement manufacturers and brick manufacturer while pond ash is given for Highway Construction and Land Fills. Liquid effluent is managed through proper treatment followed by zero discharge of effluents.
NTPC complies with the Hazardous and other Wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Amendment Rules, 2019 for transportation of Hazardous wastes. “We are also making concerted efforts towards sustainable ash utilization. Our Ash Policy implemented in serves as our vision document for integrating ash utilization from generation to end product.”, the report said.
Ash utilization is low at some stations either due to limited ash consuming businesses in the nearby areas, or, overabundance of Fly Ash in the area due to multiple thermal power stations in the vicinity.
“To resolve the issues due to supply and demand gap, we are in the process of developing fly-ash depots at high consumption centres.”, the company said.
Today, the research and development (R&D) initiatives are driven by the need of adapting to emerging technologies. NTPC have assigned 1% of PAT for R&D activities focused to address the major concerns of the sector as well as the future technology requirements of the sector. “In this effort, in 2009 we established NTPC Energy Technology Research Alliance (NETRA) as state-of-the-art center for research, technology development and scientific services. NETRA collaborates with leading institutes, technology players and service providers both at national and international level.”, the company said.
A Research Advisory Council (RAC) comprising of eminent scientists and experts from India and abroad has been constituted to steer NETRA for high end research. In-house Scientific Advisory Council (SAC) has also been constituted to provide directions for improving plant performance & reducing cost of generation.
Amongst various initiatives NETRA organized Grand Ash Challenge contest. Three ideas were selected Nano Concrete aggregates, Artificials and Fly ash-gypsum plaster. NETRA also developed techno-logy for seawater desalination treatment using waste heat from flue gas from the power plant.