Installing Pollution Control Technologies to Thermal Plants
- Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) extended the deadline for installing pollution control technologies in the country’s thermal power plants (TPPs). This was the third time that the Ministry has extended the deadline for installation of pollution control technologies.
About the notification:
- The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has issued three different timelines for three categories of thermal power plants.
- The previous categorisation of power plants was done in April 2021 on the basis of an amendment to The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The time extensions are as follows
- For plants within 10kms radius of Million plus Cities – the deadline has been extended to December 31, 2024 from the earlier deadline of December 2022.
- For plants within 10kms radius of Critically polluted Cities – the deadline has been extended to December 31, 2025 from the earlier December 31, 2023.
- For all other power plants – the new deadline stands at December 31, 2026.
What are the apprehensions?
- The environmentalists have raised their concern with respect to the deadline extensions and the dilutions.
- The deadlines needed to be met earlier as the further increase in SO2 emissions will further dampen the current air pollution scenario, resulting in a double whammy with current climate catastrophes
- Apart from CO2, there is one more harmful gas which is released, it is:
- SO2 (sulphur dioxide) which is a major contributor to particulate matter in air pollution
- The process of eliminating sulphur compounds from the exhaust emissions of fossil-fuelled (coal-fired) power plants is known as flue gas desulfurisation (FGD).
- It has been seven years since the first notification for thermal power plants to control the emission level of S02 was notified but the percentage of plants that have installed FGDs remains negligible.
Status of FGD’s:
- Over the total 600 units across the country which produce 211 Megawatts of power only 8.2 GW (across 20 units) have installed FGDs.
- This number is too low as the installation of FGDs is a time-consuming process and takes a minimum of 36-42 months.
Source The Hindu
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