In the backdrop of India progressing towards increasing efficiency of coal fired power plants to reduce green house gas emissions even while holding on to the trajectory of economic growth, an international training programme here on Clean Coal Technologies (CCT) and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) has attracted 60 representatives of power plant equipment manufacturers and utilities nationwide for sharing of knowledge derived from implementation of these technologies in European countries.

The fourth in series conducted by the TREC-STEP (Tiruchi Regional Engineering College – Science and Technology Entrepreneurs’ Park) in partnership with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited under a major project financed by the European Union, the three-day capacity leverage programme that got off to a start on Wednesday envisages developing a cluster for the Indian thermal power sector to see through effective demonstration and deployment actions in the CCT-CCS domains for reducing the environmental impact for sustainable development in conformity with Kyoto protocol.

Inaugurating the programme, Dr. John Topper, Managing Director, International Energy Agency, and IEA Environmental Projects, London, said that India’s rising Gross Domestic Product and demand for power to sustain economic growth warrants increasing efficiency of coal-fired power stations with the CCT-CCS technologies.

CCS was essential as the world was serious about climate change, he emphasised and urged the participants to equip themselves with the best practices in implementation of CCT-CCS technologies.

R. Kumar, General Manager In-Charge, Engineering and Research and Development, BHEL Tiruchi, said that while climate change cannot be stopped, it could be mitigated through the options of fuel efficiency, bio-mass gasification and generation of renewable energy. BHEL’s shift from sub-critical to super-critical boilers that withstand high-temperature and high-pressure was aligned to the target set by the country to add installed capacity by 78,000 MW in the 12 plan period. Super critical boiler sets of 660 and 800 MW unit ratings produce more power for less fuel. The plan for setting up a demonstration plant with advanced ultra super critical boiler that would ensure 45 to 48 per cent plant efficiency by 2017 was progressing well, Mr. Kumar said.

R.M.P. Jawahar, Executive Director of TREC-STEP said the significance of the training program was in generation of scope for reduction in coal consumption by power plants in the wake of difficulties in coal mining caused by factors such as environmental and social clearances.

The project to reduce environmental impact of coal-based generation was important as the country has set a target to increase installed capacity phenomenally to nine lakh MW by 2030. Even if these technologies improve the efficiency of power plants by two per cent, the environment will be saved of the pollution caused by power generation to the tune of 50,000 MW, Mr. Jawahar estimated.

B. Bindu, Deputy Manager, TREC-STEP and M. Prasanna, Project Officer, also addressed the participants consisting of senior professionals representing BHEL, NTPC, Central Power Research Institute, NLC, TNEB and other state utilities.