The pollution compliance norms issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest for thermal power plants targeted for 2022 is likely to be extended for 2 years for the power plants. The extension is likely on request from Ministry of Power which had sought an extension on account of limited and uncertain availability of Flu Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) technology which is required to arrest the pollution emitting from thermal power plants. The FGD technology is mostly imported from China and India has restricted power sector equipment import post border issue.
The Ministry of Power has also raised concerns on power companies facing fund crunch to implement FGD technology due to regulatory and financing delays. Central Electricity Regulatory Commission is yet to finalise mechanism and tariff implication for the technology upgrade. In a meeting held recently with all stakeholders, the Ministry of Power highlighted that BHEL will take over 24 months to achieve minimum indigenisation required for equipment meant to curb sulphur dioxide led pollution.
Sources privy to development have also told CNBC-TV18 “ BHEL may also look at other technology to help power plants meet the compliance and reduce the emission of sulphur dioxide from thermal power plants”.
The extension of the deadline will bring in some relief to the companies like NTPC, Tata Power, Adani Power amongst others as the cost of implementing the technology will be Rs 50 lakh per Mega Watt (MW).
Over 1.9 lakh MW thermal capacities are expected to meet the December 2022 deadline of implementing FGD technology.
(Edited by : Abhishek Jha)