The Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL), in India, has finalised a plan for cent per cent utilisation of the fly ash produced by the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) by 2010. The KPCL is keen to make its thermal plant in Raichur environment-friendly and has signed an agreement with several cement manufacturing companies for safe disposal of fly ash.
According to Muralidhar Rao, executive director (Thermal) of the RTPS, KPCL had signed an agreement with ACC of Shahabad (Gulbarga) and the ARV Cooperative Society (a consortium of cement-manufacturing companies including, ACC, the Rajashree and the Vasavadatta) for transportation of fly ash from the RTPS site without polluting the environment. They utilise fly ash for manufacturing puzzalona cement, a high-grade cement.
Mr Rao told The Hindu that according to the agreement entered into between KPCL and the cement companies, a project costing Rs. 130 crore would be implemented by the cement companies involving the installation of vacuum silos and laying of railway track from within the RTPS fly-ash site to the main track of the existing Chennai-Mumbai railway line. The entire cost of the project would be borne by the cement companies, he added. He said work on the project was expected to commence when the KPCL had given permission to the cement companies to go ahead with the project. The Railway Board had accorded permission to lay the railway track, he added.
The project will cost Rs. 130 crore and it was expected to be completed by October 2007. On completion of this project, the cement companies would start the transportation of fly ash through the closed wagons without polluting the environment. This would enable the KPCL to dispose of the entire fly ash produced by its thermal plant. The 1470MW thermal plant generates nearly 7000t of fly ash a day by consuming 21,000t of coal for heating the boilers which produce steam for power generation.
A decade ago the fly ash generated by the plant was being dumped into ash ponds and was affecting the health of employees and people residing in surrounding villages. It also polluted the Krishna. However, in recent years, KPCL had managed proper disposal of fly ash generated by the plant making the Raichur plant the third most environment-friendly thermal power project in the country. Last year, the RTPS secured the President’s Gold Medal for maintaining clean environment. According to Mr. Rao, KPCL, which was unable to dispose of nearly 1.78 per cent of the total fly ash generated by the thermal plant during 1996-97, had now achieved a milestone in the safe disposal of fly ash.