STPP set to become first public sector thermal plant in South to have FGD facility

The facility reduces sulphur dioxide emission into atmosphere to a safe level

Updated - February 22, 2023 08:07 am IST

Published - February 21, 2023 05:58 pm IST - HYDERABAD

A view of the Singareni Thermal Power Plant at Pegadapalli in the Mancherial district.

A view of the Singareni Thermal Power Plant at Pegadapalli in the Mancherial district.

The 2×600 megawatt Singareni Thermal Power Plant (STPP) at Pegadapalli in Mancherial district is set to become the first public sector coal-based power generating station in the South and first among the State PSUs in the country to have flu gas desulphurization (FGD) plant to meet the green norms by cutting sulphur dioxide emission to a safe level.

Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL), which owns STPP, has taken up the installation of the FGD plant at a cost of ₹696 crore to make the thermal power plant emission standards compliant. According to company officials, construction of FGD plant for the first unit is expected to be completed by June 2024 and for second unit by September. About 25% of work on the FGD plants installation is already completed.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has set the deadline, after extension, for installation of FGD plants for coal-based power plants as December-end of 2026 for non-retiring plants and as December-end of 2027 for retiring plants. However, it is not made compulsory for the plants that are going to retire by December-end of 2027, provided they seek exemption from the Central Pollution Control Board and Central Electricity Authority.

“Electrostatic precipitators installed in the power plant already are preventing the ash content spreading into the atmosphere. The fly ash generated in the process is being utilised in cement and brick-making units. With 100% utilisation of the fly ash generated, the power plant has won the best fly ash utilisation award twice already”, a senior official of the STPP said.

He explained that the FGD plant would process the sulphur and other gases (nitrogen oxides) generated in firing the coal for power generation. The gases routed into the 150 metre-high FGD chamber/chimney would be absorbed by calcium carbonate/wet limestone pumped into the chamber and reduce sulphur and nitrogen gases to below 200 micrograms level from over 2,000 micrograms in a cubic metre of final gas emission. In the process, calcium carbonate turns into calcium sulphate or gypsum.

Gypsum generated thus would be used in fertilizer, cement, paper, textile and construction industries and its sales are likely to contribute to the maintenance of the FGD plant. Official sources stated that FGD plants are operational in only 22 thermal power units, including seven owned by Central PSUs and 15 by private companies as of February in the country. Installation of the FGD plants is taken up for 600 thermal/lignite units across the country in the first phase.(For info-box

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