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November 27, 2018
  • Cleaning up India's coal-based power generation fleet has been an important part of the policy agenda driven by India's national commitments to reduce its carbon emissions.

  • One of the concrete measures in the recent past to do so has been issuance of stringent emission standards for thermal power plants to limit major pollutants such as sulphur dioxides.According to the government's estimates, of India's huge coal-based fleet, nearly 161 GW of capacity is currently non-compliant with SOxemission norms. Installation of FGD technology that capturesSOx emissions, has thus, become a key imperative for such plants.
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  • A number of enabling measures have been taken to ensure that the power plants are able to realistically implement the new norms. A phasing plan for FGD technology installation has been prepared by the government wherein 414 units have been earmarked for FGD installation starting 2018 up till 2022. So far, while FGDs commissioned for three units, tenders have been issued/awarded for a significant number of projects across the central, state and private sector. As per the plan, about 350-odd units are expected to complete the installation by 2021 and 2022.

  • More recently, in a major relief to thermal power stations, the government has notified thatthe investments on the installation of emission control technologies such as FGD will be considered for being made pass-through in tariffs.The clarity on pass-through of such additional cost has been a positive development as the resolution of the issue of cost recovery had been dragging for long.

  • That said, FGD systems are also one of the most expensive retrofits of all the pollution control systems. According to CEA's estimates, the cost of installation of wet limestone-based FGD is estimated to be around 5 million per MW.

  • By far, the most mature technology are wet scrubbers. These have demonstrated high SOx removal efficiency and relatively low auxiliary consumption, even though their water requirements and capital costs are higher.Based on plant location, seawater FGD systems havealso been deployed in a select number of coastal power stations in India.

  • Circulating-dry scrubbers or dry scrubbers are an alternate FGD technology which significantly lower water usageand also have significantly lower capital costs. Besides, their space requirements are much lower and thus, can be considered for older plants and units with lower ratings. However, they are disadvantaged by higher power consumption, higher maintenance cost. The limited use of by-products (gypsum) generated by a dry FGD system is another constraint, as opposed to a wet FGD system where the by-product is of a saleable grade.

  • Apart from water consumptive requirements, FGD wastewater is another aspect that plant owners need to look into. Wastewater from FGD systems typically requires treatment for disposal.Strict environment regulations often call for zero liquid discharge which is complicated and costly.

  • The mission of this conference is to provide a platform to discuss the needs, benefits, drivers as well as issues and challenges associated with FGD technology for power plants. It will also showcase latest innovations and most promising and relevant technologies.

O&M of Coal-based Power Plants

November 28 2018
  • Power plant owners and managers are gearing up to meet new challenges in a rapidly changing market and taking a relook at their traditional O&M practices.

  • While the modern, more efficient coal-based power plants are being built, the existing but less efficient older thermal power plants still constitute bulk of the baseload. Thus,improving capacity utilisation, reliability, flexibility and efficiency of the existing fleet, while ensuring competitivenessare becoming priority areas in O&Mstrategies.

  • Greater renewables influx is drivinga number of thermal power plants (TPPs) to become more flexible to ensure reliable and quality power supply as well as ensuring their commercial viability. Cyclic operations due to flexibilisation however, pose greater O&M challenges such as reduced efficiency, higher maintenance, lower equipment lifetime, among other things and need to be managed effectively.

  • Besides addressing dynamic demand requirements, for BTG equipment there is emphasis on improving combustion efficiencies, increasing planned service life and minimising equipment stress and shutdowns. Online softwares, IoT, data and analytics, remote monitoring solutions and modern C&I systems are being deployed to guide operators about plant parameters and their adherence to design values.

  • Much of the investments and initiatives in energy efficiency improvements for TPPs are being prioritised by the industry under the multi-cycle PAT scheme, wherein more than 150-odd plants have been given specific heat rate reduction targets depending upon the level of deviation from their design heat rates.

  • Meanwhile,with coal quality issues still persisting andgencoslooking at greater amounts of coal importsfor blending in the short term, adequate systems and practices need to be strengthened for coal handling, blending and beneficiation. Improper blending or failure of coal handling plant(CHP) equipment may lead to unplanned outages and loss of revenue for plant operators.

  • Stricter regulations also call for enhancing ash utilisation levels by TPPs.Plant managers need to deploy effective O&M strategies considering the design and choice of ash handling systems that can enhance their efficiency. There is also emphasis on improving the water footprint and ensuring proper wastewater treatment to reduce the vulnerability to future water scarcity scenarios.

  • With increasingly complex operations, enhancement of power plant safety is another area which is being addressed not just in the design phase, but increasingly in the O&M phase.Preventive and predictive solutions and programmes are being increasingly leveraged to minimise faults and risks in assets.

  • The mission of this conference to discuss and highlight the new and promising O&M strategies for power plants. It will analyse the new trends and emerging requirements for thermal power plants, flexibilization needs and its impact, focus on  key equipment such as BTG, coal and ash handling systems, cooling towers and highlight best practices in O&M. It will also provide a platform to showcase the most relevant technologies and solutions for O&M of power plants. 
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