As India continues to be dependent on coal to meet its power requirements because of the limited availability and high prices of gas, hydro, and other renewable sources, the need of the hour is to promote thermal power projects that have lower greenhouse gas emission and superior performance than the average in India, as a way to help the country’s meet its large need for more electricity. In this line a positive step comes forward in the form of Ultra Mega Power Project by CGPL.
Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power is India’s first 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) located at Tunda Vandh Village in taluka Mundra of Kutch region. The concept of UMPP is conceived by Government of India aligned with the vision of ‘Power to all by 2012′. Mundra UMPP helps the nation to make power available at low cost through economies of scale and superior, energy efficient and environment-friendly technology.
Benchmarking in Technology Excellence in India
CGPL has installed India’s first 800 MW unit thermal power plant using supercritical technology and is arguably the most energy-efficient, coal-based thermal power plant in the country. The design improvements in supercritical technology and the choice of unit results in lesser fuel consumption per MW power output in 800 MW supercritical units than in 500 MW subcritical units. Further, Greenhouse gas emissions generated are much lower in this plant as compared to India’s national average for coal-based power plants.
Environment Conscience at Mundra UMPP
The Mundra UMPP has adopted various measures to safeguard surrounding environment. Noteworthy measures to prevent fugitive emission from plant includes completely closed system for fly ash handling, Storing bottom ash in slurry form in impervious lined ash pond within the plant premises. Further, adequate measures are also taken to prevent coal dust emission into nearby villages. These measures include Dry fog dust suppression system at coal transfer points, Water sprinklers along the coal stock pile, Hood for the conveyer belt, 9m wind barrier wall along the periphery of the coal stockyard and Green belt development near coal yard area
Various mitigation measures have been taken to minimize impact on the marine environment and fishery resources. A hydraulic design and modeling was carried out before the construction of intake and outfall channel and mode for withdrawal of water is finalized on the basis of study carried out by NIO. 7 Km long outfall channel constructed by CGPL is an outstanding example of commitment of the company towards Environment protection which helps in reducing the cooling water temperature before it meets the open sea. Additionally, the drop of the outfall channel made of concrete blocks and stones increases surface area while the water is being discharged. This further cools the water, and the cascade reduces froth formation. Froth seen on the shoreline is due to the natural action of the waves, and not because of chemicals as is incorrectly supposed. The company ensures that residual chlorine in the discharged water is nil before it is discharged in the sea.
Pic: Artificial fall created at the end of outfall channel to increase surface area for further cooling of discharged water
Sewage Treatment Plant has been installed to treat domestic water and Effluent Treatment Plant has been constructed for treating process effluent. Treated waste water is used for greenbelt development and dust suppression within the plant premises.
Water holding structures viz. Concrete structures of intake channel and outfall channel, Ash pond, guard pond has been provided with impervious lining to prevent groundwater contamination. Separate Hazardous Waste Storage area has been constructed for storing hazardous waste.
Monitoring- A tool for assessment of effectiveness for CGPL team
Monitoring is considered as an important and ongoing management tool to track organizational progress and facilitate decision making at CGPL. The Environmental monitoring ensures regulatory compliance, protection of the natural resources in and around its operations, proactive management of impacts and mitigating the risk and Effective management and avoidance of environmental degradation through robust mechanism. Further, it helps to identify new environmental risks relevant to the operations.
Environment monitoring in and around the UMPP have been started much before the commencement of construction work, in order to obtain baseline information to predict the environmental impact of UMPP and still continues at CGPL.
Continuous ambient air monitoring stations have also been set up to provide updates on environment conditions along with online temperature monitoring sensors and Continuous online stack emission monitoring stations within the plant.
Meeting World Bank Standards
Along with meeting national standards, Mundra UMPP meets the commitment done to International lenders with respect to World Bank Standards. The ESP (Electrostatic Precipitator) is designed to ensure that particulate matter emissions are limited to 50 mg/Nm3 as per IFC’s requirement as compared to MoEF standard of 100 mg/Nm3. Low NOx burner technology has been installed in the plant enabling it to control NOx emission. CGPL uses coal with sulphur content less than 1% to limit its Sox emission. 275 m tall stack has been provided to allow proper dispersion of gases into the air which ensures negligible impact on ground level concentration in the surrounding region.
Pic: Outfall channel
Pic: Ash pond
Pic: Intake channel
Pic: Conveyor belt for coal transfer