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Stone laid for nation’s first IGCC plant

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Nation’s pride: Principal Scientific Advisor to the Union Cabinet R. Chidambaram and Union Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh at the thermal power station near Vijayawada on Tuesday.
Nation’s pride: Principal Scientific Advisor to the Union Cabinet R. Chidambaram and Union Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh at the thermal power station near Vijayawada on Tuesday.

K. Srimali

The plant to come up at a cost of Rs.950 crore

IGCC technology being used for first time for high ash coal in India

Project has major implications for nation’s energy strategy: Ramesh

VIJAYAWADA: The nation on Tuesday made a beginning towards using clean coal technologies that can significantly reduce green house gases in thermal power plants when the foundation was laid for the 125 MW Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant at Dr. Narla Tata Rao Thermal Power Station near here.

R. Chidambaram, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, and Union Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh were present on the occasion.

The plant, a joint venture of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation (AP Genco), will come up at a cost of Rs.950 crore and is scheduled to be commissioned in mid-2011.

First time

Though IGCC technology is already in use in the case of low ash coal in several countries, this is the first time that it is being used for high ash coal available in India.

“The National Action Plan on Climate Change that the Prime Minister released on Monday makes a specific mention of this plant, and these kinds of technologies are necessary for our economic growth,” Dr. Chidambaram said. Mr. Ramesh said that the “project has major implications for India’s energy strategy that has to reckon seriously with international concerns on global warming arising out of expanded coal use. Some nations may be telling us not to use more of coal for power generation, but there is no way India can progress without using a lot more coal,” he made it clear.

As he explained, the current consumption of 417 million tonnes of coal was expected to double and reach 800 million tonnes in the next five years.

It would further go up to 1.2 billion tonnes in a decade.

Agreement soon

Mr. Ramesh said that the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and BHEL would sign an agreement in three months to use the IGCC technology to set up a 200-MW plant at Auria in Uttar Pradesh.

He said coal gasification creates the option to produce alternative transportation fuels such as diesel, naphtha and hydrogen.

“This is a significant advantage for India, given the high crude oil prices,” Mr. Ramesh observed.


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