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‘Implementing new emission norms for coal power plants by 2022 looks difficult’

PW Bureau

Experts rued that achieving timely compliance to the new norm remains a serious challenge and called for stakeholders’ consultations to address various issues

New Delhi: Experts are of the opinion that the government’s plan to have Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) systems installed at all thermal power plants by 2022 to restrict the levels of SO2 discharge faces serious challenges as the installation itself takes about 2.5 to 3 years.

At a workshop organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on ‘Importance of SO2 Analysis system in FGD process and challenges in India context,’ experts rued that achieving timely compliance to the new norm remains a serious challenge and called for stakeholders’ consultations to address various issues and challenges and explore the best suited technological options.

The challenges

Dr Rajeev Gautam, President, HORIBA India laid emphasis on the significance of measurements and analysis in the area of process control applications, which would help in timely compliance to the new emission norms.

Dr Gerhard Rosspeintner, P&E Segment Leader, HORIBA Europe explained about the various methods for SO2 measurement and overcoming challenges in Indian context.

Measuring SO2 emissions difficult in the Indian context

Ensuring the optimal performance of FGD Technology in compliance to the new emission norms is dependent on accurate measurement of SO2 emissions which helps in controlling the overall operating cost of FGD. However, in the Indian context, high quality of sulphur in domestic coal coupled with high dust level in flue gas and the tropical climate makes it very difficult for measuring the accurate levels of emissions.

India needs a customised solution

There are other challenges like difficult operational conditions in thermal power plants, high PPM, high humidity and high ambient temperature and these demand customised instrumentation. Also, many pollutants like SO3 have a presence post-FGD implementation and lack of proper instrumentation will make it difficult to analyse the presence.

These issues and challenges need to be addressed for ensuring timely compliance to the new emission norms.

What are the new emission norms?

The new emission norms issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, has made it mandatory for all thermal power plants to install FGD systems to restrict the levels of SO2 discharge in the environment. The power plants have to comply with these norms and implement the FGD systems by 2022.