Friday, May 13, 2022

Govt asks TPPs to serve notices to end-users for mandatory utilisation of fly ash in projects

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  • The government has also mandated TPPs to ensure fly ash utilisation through a transparent bidding process only
  • Ash is emerging as a valuable commodity and so giving it free, and also meeting the transportation costs will lead to malpractices, said the Power Ministry

New Delhi: Tightening norms for fly ash utilisation further, the government has mandated coal and lignite thermal power plants (TPPs) to serve notices to end-users, like mine owners and construction agencies, located within a radius of 300 km for mandatory utilisation of fly ash in their projects. This option is to be exercised only if fly ash remains un-utilised despite steps taken by TPPs to sell it or supply it to end-user industries. 

In a notification released on Thursday, the Ministry of Power said, “Even after steps taken in Paras 5.1 to 5.3 above, if ash remains un-utilised, TPPs shall serve notice on the construction agencies/mine owners located within 300 kms from TPPs to use ash mandatorily in their projects/filling of mine voids.” The ministry added that the directive supersedes all previous orders that have been issued on the matter

Fly ash utilisation: TPPs to sell ash via bidding only

The government has also mandated TPPs to ensure fly ash utilisation through a transparent bidding process only. “Ash is emerging as a valuable commodity and so giving it free, and also meeting the transportation costs will lead to malpractices. Therefore, providing such a valuable commodity through bidding process would help in providing cheaper power to the consumers,” said the ministry. 

“If after bidding/auction, some quantities of ash still remains un-utilised, then only, as one of the options, it could be considered to be given free of cost on first come, first serve basis, if the user agency is willing to bear the transportation cost,” said the Power Ministry. If fly ash remains un-utilised still, TPPs will be responsible for bearing the cost of transportation of fly ash, which will be provided for free to eligible projects/mine owners.

The government has asked TPPs having lower fly ash utilisation to take all efforts to increase the same.

Fly ash

Fly ash is a coal combustion product that is composed of fine particles of burned fuel that are driven out of coal-fired boilers together with the flue gases. It is a proven resource material for many applications of construction industries and is currently being utilised in the manufacture of Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC), fly ash bricks, blocks, tiles manufacturing, road embankment construction and low lying area development, in agriculture as soil conditioner etc. In order to ensure utilisation of fly ash, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has recently announced penalties for thermal power plants that fail to ensure 100 percent utilisation of fly ash in an ‘eco-friendly’ way. According to the notification, plants that fail to utilise fly ash will have to pay the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Rs 1,000 per tonne of unutilised fly ash.

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