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Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Sunday, September 25, 2022 Implementation of new environment norms for Thermal power plants in state

Threat of closure of state-run coal-fired thermal power plants looms large following tough environmental norms for curbing carbon emission enforced by Ministry of Environment and Forests. 



The new norm entails installation of `Flue Gas Desulphurisation‘ (FGD) and `Selective Catalytic Reducer’ (SCR) in each unit of thermal power plants. Thermal plants in the state are Anpara A, Anpara B,  (1,550 MW)  Obra (188 MW), Panki (210 MW), Parichaa (1,140 MW) and Harduaganj (610 MW). Panki thermal power plant has already been closed down on January 1 this year.


“After the closure of Panki thermal power plant, the next in line of fire is Anpara A and B thermal power plants.  The cost of installing both anti-pollution equipment, the FGD and SCR is estimated to be Rs 2 crore per MW. The installed capacity of the two plants is 1, 600 MW thus the estimated expenditure will be Rs 3,200 crore,’’ said Convener of Power Employees Joint Action Committee, Shailendra Dube.  


Dube said that the present cost of constructing a thermal power plant of 1,600 MW capacity is over Rs 10,000 crore. He said that the first unit of 32 MW was scheduled to be closed on April 1 and the other unit, six months later. 


It was also decided that the next unit will be closed after the government announced its final decision to construct new 660 MW units in Panki.  


The PEJAC convenor said that even as the matter of new 660 MW unit was before `Energy Task Force’ headed by Chief Secretary and a final decision was yet to be taken, the government ordered the closure of both units of Panki thermal power plant.


Dube said that the government intends to close Anpara plants even as it was getting cheapest power at Rs 1.42 to 1.50 per unit.  He said that Anpara A plant was 27 year old and Anpara B 22 years. “The closure of both plants of Anpara will set the ball rolling for closure of UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Limited - the holding company owning all thermal power plants,” he said. 


The PEJAC convenor claimed that under the cover of environmental norms, the government intended to close down all thermal power plants in public sector thus preparing ground for the entry of Independent Power Plants (IPP) from the private sector. 


“Against installed capacity of 3.38 lakh MW of power general in the country, the peak load was only 1.60 lakh MW and rest of the generation capacity was lying idle. The IPPs with installed capacity of 45,000 were lying closed for lack of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) with power distribution companies (DISCOMs) which are, barring in few cities, in public sector across the country,” he pointed out.


Dube said that the Union government was likely to bring Indian Electricity Amendment Bill during Budget session. 


Union minister of state for Power RK Singh has already said that there will be stringent provisions in the Bill and also stringent punishment for violation of PPA by DISCOMs.  


The Central and the state government under `Power for All’ has already announced to ensure 24 hour power supply to all households by March 2019. The minister had also said that the new law will impose penalties on DISCOMs in case of failure to provide uninterrupted power after March 2019, except due to technical reasons.


As soon as Indian Electricity (Amendment) Bill is passed by the Parliament then each DISCOM will have to sign PPA with IPP to the extent of power requirement for the entire year. In case of Lucknow, UP Madhyanachal Power Corporation will have to sign the PPA for at least 1,800 MW which is the daily requirement of Lucknow.