Friday, December 26, 2008

Ultra-mega thermal plants & the Ultra-Mega fly-ash menace

The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Science Tribune
Ultra-mega thermal plants; Mega flyash problems

Dr G.S. Dhillon

A recent report datelined Bathinda, filed by TNS correspondent S.P. Sharma appeared in The Tribune dated October 31 describing the situation at Bathinda City: “It flyash all the way in Bathinda” along with a photograph of a scooterist virtually sailing through a cloud of flyash.

This has made many of us ponder what would be the state of affairs once the two proposed “ultra-mega thermal plants” of Talwandi Sabo and Gidderbaha start operating.
Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda: Flyash is everywhere.
Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda: Flyash is everywhere. Tribune photo: Malkiat Singh

An attempt has been made in this article to consider the problem.

At the present stage, the thermal plants installed in Punjab have the capacity of 2120 MW, with 1260 MW Super Plant at Ropar, 440 MW Plant at Bathinda and 420 MW at Lehra Mohabat.

The annual production of solid waste in the form of flyash (containing 20 per cent furnace bottom ash) from all the above listed TPs is around 20 lakh tons.

The new thermal plants planned would add an additional generation capacity of 6480MW:

l 1980 MW from the Talwandi Sabo Ultra-Mega Thermal Plant.

l 2640 MW from the Gidderbaha Ultra-Mega Thermal Plant,

l 1320 MW from the Rajpura Mega Thermal Plant

l 540 MW from the Goindwal Thermal Plant.

At that stage, the total thermal power generation capacity would be 8600 MW and the annual flyash production requiring proper handling would be above 80 lakh tonnes.

The regulations issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF), Government of India, require that “all the thermal plants will have to ensure 100 per cent utilisation of the solid waste (flyash plus furnace bottom ash) within the prescribed period, which is nine years after their commissioning in the case of new TPs to be set up. In the case of the older existing plants, the time limit to achieve the 100 per cent utilisation target is “by the year 2015” i.e. within the next seven years.

Flyash is fine powdery material and its particles are spherical in shape and of glassy nature. The flyash contains a reactive material which reacts with “lime” in the presence of water, to form calcium silicate hydrate, which acts as a binding material.

This property of flyash is utilised for part replacement of cement in the case of cement concrete using OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement). Also PPC (Portland Puzzolana Cement) is obtained by mixing flyash with burnt clinker before grinding. The proportion of flyash, conforming to IS: 3812 (Part I-1) may vary between 15 per cent to 35 per cent.

l Flyash can be used to form a “flowable fill” which pours freely and get set quickly and provide strength equal to that of “compacted soil”. So flyash in this form can be used to fill up trenches, cuts, abandoned mine etc.

l Flyash can be used for building embankments for road construction.

l Flyash can be used as “filler” in the manufacture of plastic components replacing “plastic resin”.

Roller compacted concrete using flyash has been found to possess many merits and used in many situations. In case of the Ghatgar pumped storage scheme, the roller compacted concrete using flyash was used for construction of the Saddle Dam and the Upper Dam.

Flyash has been beneficially used for “soil conditioning” of agricultural soils in Maharashtra and flyash has also been used to provide “fertiliser capability”. For this purpose it should be used in the “wet” form

For burnt clay bricks, a 25 per cent replacement of soil with flyash is now a must for brickkilns located within 100 km. radius of TPs as per orders from the MOEF.

Building blocks using upto 88 per cent of flyash: furnace bottom ash (in equal proportion) and 12 per cent lime have been produced by PMET, who has obtained a patent for the same. The blocks are “cured” in an auto-clave for six hours at steam pressure of 200 psi and 370 degree F temperature. The product thus obtained is called “BRIXX”.

In case of the Ropar super thermal plant, the ash ponds were found to pollute groundwater and objections were raised the Punjab Pollution control Board and the PSEB was asked to take necessary steps’ to check this menace.

Also, the air pollution has been found to be acute around the Ropar thermal plant area and so it has been decided to raise the chimney height by 200 ft to correct the situation by dispersing the pollutants over a wider area so as to minimise their intensity.

Farmers in the areas surrounding the Ropar TP have complained of reduction in crop yields on account of ground water as well as atmospheric pollutants. This aspect needs to be studied by agencies like the PAU.

This scenario is true for all thermal plants, though the intensity of the problem could vary. For the new Ultra-Mega Thermal Plants coming up, one can only hope that all the necessary environmental clearances are obtained and implemented in letter and spirit to avoid an environmental catastrophe.

While Punjab enters the “Ultra-Mega Thermal” era to tackle its rising power needs, we should also plan ahead for disposal and utilisation of the mega-quantities of the solid wastes that would be obtained (flyash & FBA), so that environmental degradation is not obtained in the area of influence around these Ultra-Mega Thermal Plants.

Progress and growth at the cost of the environment is not an acceptable trade-off. Keeping in mind that the binding 100 per cent flyash usage regulations are still 7-9 years away from implementation, we hope that we can avoid the Bathinda scooterist’s plight being repeated in other cities and villages of Punjab — the green state.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mauda Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) - Nagpur, in the making

BHEL bags Rs 2,100 cr power plant order from NTPC
BHEL bags Rs 2,100 cr power plant order from NTPC
BS Reporter / Mumbai December 24, 2008, 13:40 IST

Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) has bagged two orders for the supply and installation of the main plant equipment for Mauda Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) in Maharashtra in an international competitive bidding. Cumulatively valued at around Rs 2,100 cr, the contracts have been placed on BHEL by NTPC for setting up the 1000 mega watt steam generator and steam turbine generator packages at Mauda STPP, located in Nagpur. These units will add 24 mn units every day to the grid on commissioning.

"The orders were won by BHEL under international bidding, as its offers were found techno-economically the best. With these orders, NTPC has once again reposed confidence in BHEL's proven technological excellence and capability in executing projects of this magnitude," said the company in a statement.

BHEL’s scope of work in the contracts involves design, engineering, manufacture, supply and erection and commissioning of Steam Generators and Turbine Generators along with Associated Auxiliaries, Electrostatic Precipitators and state-of-the-art Controls and Instrumentation. The key equipment for the contracts will be manufactured at BHEL’s Haridwar, Trichy, Ranipet, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bhopal and Jhansi Plants. The company’s Power Sector – Western Region will undertake erection and commissioning of the equipment.

BHEL manufactured sets are already operating at NTPC’s other projects in Singrauli, Korba, Ramagundam, Farakka, Vindhyachal, Simahadri, Rihand, Sipat, Kahalgaon, Talcher and Unchahar, said the company.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mercury is now traceable

Mercury is now traceable | Science & Technology | Down To Earth magazine
Mercury is now traceable
Arnab Pratim Dutta

The heavy metal can be fingerprinted to find its source

THE global emission of mercury—a heavy metal notorious for its toxicity—is on the rise. Although the metal occurs naturally in stable form, some 2000 tonnes of it is released annually into the atmosphere from coal-based power plants, incinerators and chloro-alkali plants. Various options such as a global mercury convention, inclusion in the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and voluntary partnerships, are being discussed to phase it out, but for that the source of the pollution needs to be pinpointed first. Researchers from the department of Geological Sciences and Air Quality Laboratory at the University of Michigan have developed a fingerprint technique to find out how much mercury is released by different sources...................
Read Full Story Here

Friday, December 19, 2008

GMR plans to buy coal mine in Indonesia

GMR bullish on power; plans to buy coal mine in Indonesia-The Economic Times
Printed from The Economic Times

GMR bullish on power; plans to buy coal mine in Indonesia
19 Dec 2008, 1318 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: GMR Group plans to buy 100-150 million tonne capacity coal mine in Indonesia to feed 1,500 megawatt power generation capacity for
20 years.

The deal is likely to strike within three months. "The company has plans to set up a 1,000 to 1,500 megawatt coal fired thermal power plant on the western coast. The company has already done the land survey in Maharashtra and Gujarat," GMR Group Chief Financial Officer Subba Rao Amarthaluru told reporters here on Friday.

Divulging details about the company's foray into power sector, he said, "The company would increase its domestic power generation capacity from 800 megawatt to 3,000 megawatt by 2013."

He also said that the company's 1,050 megawatt coal fired power plant in Orissa would be operational by March 2010.

When asked about the future investment plans, he remained tight-lipped and said that amidst the global financial crisis, power sector is a potential sector where there is a scope of investment and higher returns considering the EPC cost coming down to around Rs four crore per megawatt from the earlier Rs five crore to Rs six crore.

He added, "Power is an essential commodity, you cannot postpone the demand. Considering the huge demand of power in our country, this sector will yield higher returns in short term".

On the air passenger traffic, he said it is down one per cent in Delhi and five to six per cent in Hyderabad and this will further come down.

Copyright © 2008 Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Environmental Clearance for 168 Power project s in 3 years

PIB Press Release

Press Information Bureau, Government of India

Friday, December 05, 2008
Ministry of Environment and Forests

14:33 IST

A total of 168 power project have been accorded environmental clearance during the last three years. This includes 128 thermal power project, 39 hydroelectric projects and 1 nuclear power project. The State-wise break-up of these projects and their capacity is given in Annexure.Provision has been made in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification. 2006 to set up State/UT Level Environment impact Assessment Authority for appraisal of the specified category of projects.

EIA Notification, 2006 provide for appraisal of the impact that a project will have on the environment. This is done through EIA reports submitted by the project proponents and assessed by the multi-disciplinary Expert Appraisal Committees constituted by the Ministry Environment & forests for the purpose.............

(Total 82,605.50MW of TPP, 11083 MW of Hydro and 1400MW of Nuclear. ie 95088 MW in total)

German expertise for thermal plants upgrade

SteelGuru - News
News Wednesday, 17 Dec, 2008
German expertise for thermal plants upgrade

BL reported that thermal power plants in India are set for an upgrade and efficiency improvement as part of an Indo German Energy program that would bring in German expertise.

According to Dr JT Verghese MD of Evonik Energy Services (India) Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Evonik Industries of Germany, which is implementing the program, Evonik has carried out baseline studies of over 85 thermal power plants in India.

Addressing a press conference after the inaugural of a one day workshop at the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, he said that Evonik has studied four thermal power plants which were more than 25 years old in Tamil Nadu. The next step would be identify the areas for upgrading equipment and training personnel. The study indicates that through selective investments, significant improvements could be achieved.

While the improvement could not be expressed immediately in specific terms, he said that the benefits would be apparent. Thermal power plants need to continuously focus on efficiency not just for cost reduction and increasing power availability but also to control pollution. He added that a 1% improvement in efficiency would mean a saving of over 11 million tonne of coal in India

The benchmark study of the 85 plants was to trigger awareness and the potential that could be achieved. The company was in discussions with the electricity boards in West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh.

As per report, Evonik has extensive expertise in the area and operates over 11,000 MW of the total capacity of thermal plants spread across a number of countries.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CM urged to look into Dabhol power plant

CM urged to look into Dabhol power plant -Pune-Cities-The Times of India
Printed from Times of India

CM urged to look into Dabhol power plant
16 Dec 2008, 0229 hrs IST, TNN

PUNE: City-based Sajag Nagrik Manch on Monday urged chief minister Ashok Chavan to urgently look into the problems plaguing the Ratnagiri Gas and Power Pvt Ltd (RGPPL/Dabhol) to ensure that the plant starts generating more power before the onset of summer.

In a letter sent to Chavan, Vivek Velankar, founder SNM, said that Maharashtra was going through a serious power shortage, resulting in unbearable load-shedding throughout the state. "Every megawatt of power is very important and from that angle, RGPPL or Dabhol power plant, needs your urgent attention," he wrote.

As per the information available in the daily system report on the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd's (MSEDCL) website, Dabhol has been generating 320 MW power per day as against its installed capacity of 2100 MW.

Velankar stated that Dabhol plant has three blocks, each with installed capacity of 700 MW. Each block has three turbines two gas turbines and one steam turbine. "As per information available with SNM, in block 1, gas turbine 1 A is not working and has been under repair for the last two years. Recently all the required parts have reached Dabhol. It needs to get started as quickly as possible," the letter said.

Gas turbine 1B is working and generating 200 MW power. The steam turbine is based on both gas turbines and as one of the gas turbines is not working, the steam turbine's output is at 100 MW, Velankar stated.

He said that in Block 2, gas turbine 2A was not working and has been under repair for the last six months. It may not be in working condition for a couple of more months. Gas turbine 2B has been under maintenance for the last 15 days and was supposed to be back in operation by the end of this month, according to a statement released by MSEDCL just before the maintenance work started.

"The steam turbine is based on both gas turbines and as both the gas turbines are not in working condition today the output of the steam turbine is nil. If gas turbine 2B is back in operation by end of this month, then the steam turbine's output will be 100 MW," the letter said.

"In block 3 both the gas turbines 3A and 3B have been out of order since last 15 days", Velankar pointed out adding that as steam turbine was based on both gas turbines the out put of steam turbine was nil.

He further stated that currently only one gas and one steam turbine in block 1 was in working condition producing 300 MW power. "Considering the installed capacity of 2100 MW ; this is serious . Hence we request you to kindly take up the matter strongly with National thermal power corporation (NTPC) and the union energy ministry for immediate action on their side so that at least by end of this month Gas turbine 1A and 2 B are functional and from 2009 we can start getting another 600 MW power", the letter said.

The letter said that the problems in block 3, where both gas turbines were down; repairs and ordering of required parts needed to be done on a war footing with sustained follow-up so that another 600 MW becomes available from April 2009.

Friday, December 5, 2008

168 power projects get environmental clearance

168 power projects get environmental clearance in last 3 Yrs
168 power projects get environmental clearance in last 3 Yrs
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If statistics is anything to go by then Indian power sector is growing at an electrifying pace with a total of 168 power projects getting environmental clearance during the last three years.

EIA Notification, 2006 provide for appraisal of the impact that a project will have on the environment. This is done through EIA reports submitted by the project proponents and assessed by the multi-disciplinary Expert Appraisal Committees constituted by the Ministry Environment & forests for the purpose.

Gujarat received the largest number of environmental clearance for 21 projects with a total capacity of 12,245 mw of power, while Rajasthan ranked second with 15 projects cleared having total capacity of 3,270 mw.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Manch seeks info on load-shedding protocol

Manch seeks info on load-shedding protocol-Pune-Cities-The Times of India
Manch seeks info on load-shedding protocol
3 Dec 2008, 0012 hrs IST, TNN
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PUNE: The city-based Sajag Nagrik Manch (SNM) on Tuesday demanded that the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) should
suo motu declare the facts and figures that prompted it to select a load-shedding protocol suitable for power shortfall of 4,600 MW to 5,000 MW. The information is being sought under section four of the Right to Information Act.

The power utility on Monday announced the new load-shedding protocol after the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (Merc) rejected the petition seeking increase in load-shedding hours on Friday.

In a letter to MSEDCL managing director Ajay Bhushan Pandey and chief engineer of power purchase, Manch founder Vivek Velankar said that the current protocol circular 23 issued by the MSEDCL was based on scenario five in Merc's order wherein demand supply gap is between 4600-5000 MW.

"I would like to draw your attention to the fact that since the last 15 days the demand supply gap crossed the 4,200-MW figure just two days for a couple of hours and has never crossed the figure of 4,600 MW . This has happened in spite of two generation sets at Dabhol not working and reduction in the Mahagenco thermal power generation due to shortage of coal," Velankar stated.

He said that in this background, the load-shedding protocol should have been ideally based on scenario three (suited for shortfall of 3,700 MW to 4,200 MW) if not at least safely on scenario four ( shortfall of 4,200 MW to 4,600 MW). "Considering the fact that there is an industrial slowdown, the demand is not likely to go up in the near future and, as it is winter the use of air-conditioners and fans will definitely go down the demand is not likely to go up," he added.

Velankar pointed out that the improvement in coal supply and resumption of Dabhol generation sets can improve supply in the next couple of weeks. "This means that in the next two months, at least, the demand supply gap is not likely to cross 4,600 MW. In spite of all this you have taken a decision to base load-shedding protocol on scenario five ( 4,600-5,000 MW shortfall )," he said in the letter.

He pointed out that as per Right to information Act 2005 section 4 (1) (C) & (D), the MSEDCL needs to publish suo motu (within 24 hours of the decision ) all the facts and reasons behind the decision to consider scenario five for the load-shedding protocol. He has urged the MSEDCL to publish this information on its website immediately.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adani’s Gondia power plant faces coal block - Menaka Gandhi

Adani’s Gondia power plant faces coal block - Home -
Adani’s Gondia power plant faces coal block

Former environment minister and Lok Sabha member Menaka Gandhi has sought the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office to stop the project
Padmaparna Ghosh and Utpal Bhaskar

New Delhi: Protests by activist groups and a high-profile politician are threatening to block a coal mining project of the Adani Group in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district that is to come up near the Tadoba Andhari National Park, home to the endangered Bengal tiger.
This could jeopardize the group’s 1,980MW power plant that is to come up in the nearby Gondia district and be fed by coal from the Chandrapur mine.
Two public hearings held have seen a lot of protests against the project, said an official in the state’s forest department, who asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
Such so-called public hearings are part of the process projects need to follow before they can be approved by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), which has to clear projects depending on their size.
The country’s former environment minister and Lok Sabha member Menaka Gandhi has sought the intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office to stop the project.
India’s top bureaucrat in the coal ministry said Gandhi had also written to the Maharashtra government and MoEF. He added that it was for “MoEF to take a view”. “The law is very clear and if something cannot be done under the law, it cannot be done. They (Adani Group) have to obtain necessary clearances.”
The mine falls within 15km of the ecologically sensitive area (ESA), as defined by MoEF.
This is a zone in which no industrial activity, including mining, can be undertaken. The mining lease at Chandrapur covers an area of 1,750ha, and 90% of this is forest land.
MoEF has partially cleared the power plant. It has approved a generating capacity of 1,320MW, the original capacity envisioned for the plant, and is now waiting for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) of a proposal to enhance the capacity by 660MW.
An EIA looks at the environmental impact or fallout of a project. The failure to get an approval for the coal mining project, however, could jeopardize the power project.
The company is confident that MoEF will approve the coal mining project.
“The coal ministry has allocated and approved mine plan for Lohara West and Extension coal blocks, they are contiguous and will be worked as one mine only, with an estimated reserve of nearly 170 million tonnes. The process for obtaining clearances have started and public hearings have been carried out. Our power project is slated for complete commissioning by Q4 (fourth quarter) of 2011 and we will obtain necessary clearances before commencing the mining operations,” a company spokesperson said in an email.
Gandhi said the project reflected a larger trend where the local populace is often left poorer by mining. “For the last five years, the single biggest way to earn money has been through mining. It has destroyed Rajasthan, Orissa, Maharashtra and, now, Madhya Pradesh. Mining is a short- term measure for politicians and bureaucrats to make money, but makes local people even poorer by stripping them of whatever they have left.”
Interestingly, the construction of Human (pronounced Hooman) Dam, with a capacity to irrigate 46,000ha, which was initiated in 1983, was stayed following a Supreme Court order in June, because it would threaten the tiger habitat.
Gandhi’s intervention comes in the backdrop of an MoEF committee’s observation, at a meeting held on 28 April, that almost the entire lease area of the mine is in dense forest land within the Junana Reserve Forest.
The minutes of this meeting state: “The committee desired that a detailed ecological study should be carried out. Since the project falls within 10km of an ecologically sensitive area, a comprehensive conservation plan should be prepared and furnished. The plan must incorporate dedicated corridors for movement of schedule-I fauna within the region.”
Schedule-I fauna refers to highly endangered species.
Once notified, any project in ESAs that involve a change in how the land will be used need an additional clearance from MoEF.
Maharashtra, however, is yet to notify the area an ecologically sensitive one, though an official maintained that the process was under way. “Maharashtra is yet to notify its ESAs, but it is under process,” said Jwala Prasad, principal chief conservator of forests, Maharashtra.
Kishor Rithe, wildlife conservationist and president of Satpura Foundation, an activist group, said: “No politician wants to take this step (of notifying an area as environmentally sensitive). People think everything will be stopped, but it is only projects like mines and thermal power plants which actually take away tiger habitats that would be affected. Roads or schools or primary health centres don’t get affected.”

Monday, November 17, 2008

Richest woman in the country


A low-profile minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in Haryana has emerged as the richest woman in the country. Savitri Jindal, 58, who is the chairperson of the Jindal Group, has been named as the richest woman in India in the latest Forbes list of richest Indians. Jindal is minister of state in the Hooda government looking after disaster management, consolidation, and rehabilitation and housing ministries.

According to Forbes, Savitri Jindal has a net worth of US$2.9 billion, and is ranked 12th overall among the top-40 richest Indians who include the likes of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, expatriate steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, Reliance-ADAG chairman Anil Ambani and realty baron K.P. Singh.

Jindal's net worth, according to Forbes, came down from $8.5 billion in 2007 to 2.9 billion, mainly owing to the global financial meltdown. Last year, she was ranked 11th. The only other woman to figure in the list is Times of India Group's
chairperson Indu Jain (17th). Jindal is the mother of Congress member of parliament from Kurukshetra and industrialist Navin Jindal. She has three more sons and five daughters. Her late husband, O.P. Jindal, had set up the Jindal empire from Hisar town in Haryana nearly four decades ago. O.P. Jindal, who himself was a cabinet minister in the Hooda government, died when his private helicopter crashed near Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh Mar 31, 2005. His cabinet colleague Surender Singh, son of former Haryana chief minister and union defence minister Bansi Lal, was also killed in the crash.

The Rs.150 billion Jindal group has interests in the iron, steel and power
sectors. The group has nearly 50 plants in India and abroad, including South
American countries like Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Savitri Jindal was inducted as a minister of state with independent charge in the Hooda government just weeks after her husband died. She contested the Hisar assembly seat, earlier represented by her husband, in the 2005 by-election and won it by a huge margin. The Jindal family mainly operates from Hisar, 300 km from Chandigarh. The family runs a well known school, Vidya Devi Jindal School, in the town.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Maytas Infra to Build Rs 39 crores township for JSW at Ratnagiri

Maytas Infra bags Rs 39 crores order from JSW- Steel-Ind'l Goods / Svs-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
Maytas Infra bags Rs 39 crores order from JSW
4 Nov, 2008, 1732 hrs IST, PTI

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HYDERABAD: Maytas Infra Ltd, a construction and infrastructure development company, has bagged a Rs 39 crore order from South West Infrastructure
Private Ltd, a group company of Jindal Steel Works (JSW).

This is Maytas Infra's second order from JSW, a press release said here on Tuesday.

The order bagged involves construction of a township for the employees of JSW Power Project coming up near Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra State.

The project entails construction of 3 BHK units of 18 flats, 2 BHK units of 132 flats, and 96 Hostel units. The order excludes cost of steel and cement and is to be completed with 12-14 months, the release said.

"We are glad to have bagged this order from JSW again. The fact that clients are coming back to us for all their infrastructure needs is a tribute to Maytas Infra's relentless focus on delighting its clients", CEO of Maytas, P K Madhav said.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kolkata firm meets CM over power plant- Raigad

Kolkata firm meets CM over power plant

Times of India 17 Oct 2008, 0036 hrs IST, Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN

MUMBAI: A high-level team comprising senior officials of Kolkata-based Universal Success Enterprises Group (USEG) led by Prasun Mukherjee made a presentation before chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh over the setting up of a Rs 25,000 crore thermal power plant near Raigad. The on-going agitations in the entire coastal Konkan region over new power projects and acquisition of lands for SEZ projects did not hamper their efforts.

Industries secretary Aziz Khan and his energy counterpart Subrato Ratho confirmed that nominees of the universal group recently called on Deshmukh for setting up a 5,000 MW power plant along the coastline. Immediately after the meeting, Deshmukh set up a three-member committee comprising Ratho, maritime board secretary Sudhir Srivastava and Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation chief executive officer Rajiv Jalota to study the proposal. "The committee will study the proposal and is expected to draft new guidelines for setting up industrial units along the coastline,'' a senior official told TOI.

Post Nandigram and Singur violence, the proposal assumes political significance. "It is for the first time that a leading industrial house from Kolkata, having overseas operations, has knocked on the doors of the state chief minister,'' the official said.

USEG vice-president T G Shridhar also confirmed that his organisation members had a prolonged meeting with Deshmukh about setting up a thermal power plant. "We were impressed by his approach. We were given a red carpet welcome,'' Shridhar told TOI.

Elaborating on the project, Shridhar said the project will require 2500 acres of land in the Konkan region. "As we plan to import coal by the sea route, we are looking for locations near the coast. Of course, we will be happy if no social problems occur in the process of acquisition of land,'' Shridhar said.

Major power projects in the Konkan region have been indefinitely delayed owing to the state government's failure to provide land. "All four power projects in the private sector have the approval of the authorities, but as we are unable to provide land, none of these projects were able to take off in a real sense,'' a senior energy department official said.

A senior Congress minister said it was welcome news that entrepreneurs were keen on investing in the Konkan region despite violent agitations.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

N-trade: It's a $40 billion opportunity

N-trade: It's a $40 billion opportunity-India-The Times of India
11 Sep 2008, 0648 hrs IST,
Srinivas Laxman,TNN
NEW DELHI: The NSG waiver is a truly global opportunity. As India opens its doors for nuclear trade, it will generate worldwide business worth $40 billion, allow Indian companies to supply components to foreign N-plant makers, offer power-generation opportunities to Indian firms and increase the nuclear power level in the country to 52,000 megawatt by 2020 from the present 4120 megawatt, according to nuclear experts."India will set up 24 imported civilian nuclear light-water reactors along its coasts in the next 11 to 15 years," chairman and managing director of Nuclear Power Corporation S K Jain said on Wednesday. The corporation headed by Jain manages all the civilian nuclear plants in India.Speaking to TOI, Jain said apart from countries like the US, France and Russia, more vendors will now be knocking at India’s atomic door for a share in Rs 2.4 lakh crore project. In fact, the French nuclear major, Areva, has already set up an office in Mumbai, waiting to begin formal business discussions with the NPC.Disclosing that the plan to import reactors to enhance India's nuclear power programme formed a part of the 11th five year plan between 2007 and 2012, the NPC chief said, "We will begin the modalities of financing the acquisition now that we have the NSG clearance."With regards to the imported reactors, Jain said that every chosen region of the country will get reactors from one particular country only. For example, at Jaitapur in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district all the reactors will come from France.Jain, one of the top nuclear officials in the country, added that the setting up of imported reactors will give a chance to Indian companies to collaborate with foreign companies. "Western technology will be married to the competitiveness of Indian industry," he said.Since the NSG approval also permits export of nuclear components from India, Jain said the US manufacturers may source components from India. "Now armed with the NSG approval, India will compete with other nuclear powers to collaborate with these nations to set up their atomic power plants," Jain said.According to some NPC officials, it is possible that the organisation may form a separate wing for international collaboration. "We now have a huge business opportunity and will now become truly global nuclear player," an official remarked.Secretary-general of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce R K Chopra also sees good opportunities for Indian firms. "A number of Indian companies could become a manufacturing hub for making nuclear-related parts and export them to the US and other countries. India can also team up with the bigger countries and export components to smaller nations," Chopra said.The waiver will also open business doors for many Indian companies. A spokesperson of the Confederation of Indian Industry told TOI that the NSG green signal has now directly opened up business opportunities worth Rs 1,20,000 crore for global and Indian firms in the next 15 years.According to the CII official, NTPC, Jindal, L&T, Tata Power and Reliance Power are among the key companies that would have huge business opportunities now. "Other companies, which have traditionally not been in this field are likely to foray into the area as well, owing to the magnitude of the business potential," he said, expressing confidence that once the US government gets the deal approved in the Congress, India would modify its Atomic Energy Act of 1962 to allow private sector participation in nuclear power generation in the country.The waiver will not only help nuclear power, according to experts, it will also benefit trade in high-technology areas like pharma, semi-conductors, precision engineering, defence equipment, advanced and speciality chemicals, electronics, sensors, environmental technology, space, automation and robotics.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Asia's biggest solar thermal power plant at Nagpur

There is good news too ....

Nagpur to have Asia's biggest solar thermal power plant

Nagpur to have Asia's biggest solar thermal power plant

Nagpur, Sept 2 (PTI) Asia's biggest solar thermal power plant will be set up here to generate 10 MW electricity for the national grid.
"The generated power will be put on the national grid. It is a small step but a big leap for solar energy generation," Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Vilas Muttemwar said today.

The unique 10 MW solar thermal generation facility will serve the purpose of demonstration for solar energy enthusiasts across the country, he told PTI here.

Nagpur has been selected because of high sun radiation besides its central geographical location, the minister said adding solar energy is environment friendly and pollution free.

Besides, the plant load factor is between 80 to 90 per cent of the installed capacity, he said.

Moreover, there are no transmission and distribution losses in generation of solar energy unlike in thermal power generation.

Muttemwar said his ministry has approached the Maharashtra government for allotment of land, so that the process of setting up the plant could start. PTI

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Meeting to seek power crisis solution !

Meeting to seek power crisis solution - Express India
Meeting to seek power crisis solution
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Express News Service
Posted online: Sunday , August 24, 2008 at 03:10:04
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Pune, August 23 There is hope for the city on the power front, as state Energy Minister Dilip Walse-Patil on Saturday said the power situation in Pune might improve after a joint meeting on the Pune model of zero load shedding to be held in Mumbai on Monday.

In July, the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) imposed load shedding owing to the drought-like situation. The city had to go through six hours of load shedding daily. However, after the sufficient rains in August, the MSEDCL last week officially declared a ‘no load shedding’ situation again. However, it continued the load shedding from the next day, saying Tata Power Trading Company Limited (TPTCL), the franchisee appointed for providing additional power, did not assure firm contracted power to them. As a result, the city is still reeling under load shedding.

Against this scenario, the state Power Minister has assured that the Monday meeting might bring something positive for the city. From Pune, state council chairman of CII, Pradeep Bhargava, Shantanu Dixit of Prayas Energy Group and Vivek Velankar of Sajag Nagrik Manch will attend.

Stressing that energy conservation should be the new mantra, Walse-Patil said the state government would add another 6,500 MW through new power generation plants in the next three-four years, with a total investment of Rs 18,000 crore. The power addition is also going to come from private players, including Jindal Power, Tata Power Company and Adani Group, which are going to set up power bases in Ratnagiri, Mumbai and Gondia in Vidarbha respectively, Walse-Patil said.

“Industry consumes 31 per cent of the total energy. However, we have high potential in conserving energy. The government of India enacted Energy Conservation Act in 2001 and Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) has been appointed the agency for that in the state. The installed power capacity of the state is 15,000 MW, while the daily shortage is 4,000-5,000 MW,” he said.

He said the state was also working towards the usage of non-conventional energy. “We have sanctioned three projects in this regard,” Walse-Patil said, adding that if the Indo-US nuclear deal goes through, Maharashtra would get 10,000 MW of power.

Friday, August 22, 2008

RNRL Ready to operate defunct Gas power plants

"It is Good news. Options are always there everywhere for cleaner energy generation. But alas !, no one is serious about such minimal impact power generation options !

Ready to buy power plants: RNRL
Ready to buy power plants: RNRL
Bs Reporter / Mumbai August 22, 2008, 0:49 IST

Acquired units to utilise RIL’s KG gas till Dadri facility kicks off.

Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) has said it is willing to buy or lease gas-based power plants until its Dadri power plant in Uttar Pradesh is commissioned, if Reliance Industries (RIL) agrees to supply gas. RNRL is engaged in a court battle with RIL for sourcing gas from the Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin.

RNRL also said it would trade the excess gas supplied to it in line with government policy.

RNRL’s counsel Mukul Rohatgi said on Thursday in the Bombay High Court, “Since RNRL will need three years to set up the power plant, it can either lease or buy gas-based power generation facilities, which are lying idle in states like Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, and use the gas supply to generate power. It can also trade the gas with other parties in line with the government of India policy as RIL would do.” After RNRL’s plant takes shape, it will use the gas for captive consumption.


# RNRL said it would trade the excess gas supplied to it in line with government policy
# The firm's argument comes as a surprise because the company had so far maintained that it would not trade the gas, but use it only to generate power from its plant
# After RNRL's plant takes shape, it will use the gas for captive consumption.
# The RNRL counsel told the court that they were ready to negotiate with RIL on the case and share the cost of exploration of gas

RNRL’s argument comes as a surprise because the company had so far maintained that it would not trade the gas, but use it only to generate power from its plant. According to RNRL, the gas sale master agreement (GSMA) is a commercially non-bankable agreement, which has prevented RNRL from raising funds and bringing its power plant on course.

According to GSMA, RNRL is entitled to be supplied 28 million cubic metres of gas per day from the KG basin at a price of $2.34 per million British thermal unit (mBtu) for a period of 17 years.

Mukesh Ambani-promoted RIL’s senior counsel, Harish Salve, while presenting his case on July 31, had said RIL feared RNRL would trade the gas it got from it at cheap price to a third party since it did not have its power plant in place. “We will buy the gas from RIL at the agreed price of $2.34 per mmbtu and trade it at market price,” said Ram Jethmalani, a senior counsel for RNRL. Earlier in the day, the RNRL counsel told the court that they were ready to negotiate with RIL on the case and share the cost of exploration of gas — which according to RIL has run into Rs 40,000 crore so far — provided RIL shared with them the gas produce from the KG basin.

Jethmalani reiterated, “Mukesh Ambani and his directors should be prosecuted for criminal breach of trust as the drafts of GSMA and GSPA (gas sale and purchase agreement) were approved by the board of RIL at a time when the board of RNRL was also under the control of Mukesh Ambani.”

Meanwhile, arguing on the central government’s behalf, government cousel T S Doabia today told the Bombay High Court that National Thermal Power Corporation has no contract with RIL, contradicting NTPC’s own stand in its case against RIL. “NTPC has been arguing all along that it has a concluded contract with RIL. With this statement, NTPC has no case at all,” said Rohatgi.

“This shows your government is corrupt,” added Jethmalani. However, Doabia maintained “my instructions are that NTPC does not have a concluded contract with RIL”.

RIL won NTPC’s bid for supply of 12 million metric standard cubic metres gas per day in 2004, but the contract is now stuck in a legal row over the issue of cap on liability in case of breach of contract. The matter is pending before the Bombay High Court and NTPC’s stand in the case is that RIL is bound by a concluded contract. RIL, on its part, says the contract is not yet final. The resolution of the NTPC case is important in the RIL-RNRL case as the agreement between RIL and RNRL will provide for RNRL getting 12 mmscmd of additional gas if the RIL-NTPC contract fails. This would entitle RNRL to have a total of 40 mmscmd of gas.

RNRL, which began its arguments last week, had said either GSMA between RNRL and RIL be implemented or destroyed. Else, RIL should compensate RNRL in monetary terms to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore.

The hearing in the case has been adjourned to September 1.


RNRL also said it would trade the excess gas supplied to it in line with government policy.

The firm’s argument comes as a surprise because the company had so far maintained that it would not trade the gas, but use it only to generate power from its plant

After RNRL’s plant takes shape, it will use the gas for captive consumption.

The RNRL counsel told the court that they were ready to negotiate with RIL on the case and share the cost of exploration of gas

There is no buyers for Power ?

This is quite interesting, While everyone is after making new Power plants "at any co(a)st" to combat power shortage, This is shockingly contradictory !

Lots of power, no buyers; more load shedding - Express India
Lots of power, no buyers; more load shedding
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Express News Service
Posted online: Friday , August 22, 2008 at 12:16:05

Pune, August 21 Power was available in abundance on Thursday — 4,200 MW could not be sold due to lack of buyers at The Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) — yet the city continued to reel under power cuts.

The Pune division CEO of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL), R B Gautam, reiterated that as long as power is available there would be no load shedding. But power was available and there was load shedding

IEX is a nationwide automated and online electricity trading platform. Its CEO, Jayant Deo, said it had 9,663 MW available and sold 5463 MW at rates between Rs 2.90 and Rs 8.90 per unit. Tata Power Company did not purchase power for Pune on Thursday, Deo said.

The city still needs 150 MW of power, Gautam said, adding that load shedding would be enforced when power was not available. On Thursday, areas under Group B like Rasta Peth and others faced power cuts up to four-and-a-half hours.

The dry spell for two days has also raised the overall shortfall in the state to 3,500 MW. According to MSEDCL officials in Mumbai, the statewide demand was 12,700 MW and only 9,700 MW was available.

Thermal power units are still under the annual overhaul, especially units 3 and 5 at Chandrapur, unit 3 at Bhusawal, unit 1 at Khaparkhede and unit 2 at Khoradi. These units jointly generate more than 1000 MW.

Pradeep Bhargava, chairman of the Maharashtra Council of the Confederation of Indian Industry, said he was now working towards procurement of 325 MW from October 1 for Pune and Thane. He and other consumer activists have several questions for the MSEDCL as the latter’s predictions about availability of power have gone awry and an ambiguity has emerged about the load shedding protocol. Vivek Velankar of Sajag Grahak Manch points out that Tata Power Company had successfully provided the required power to mitigate load shedding in Pune during the crucial months of April to June.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wartsila - Gas power

Wartsila to buy power service provider
Wartsila to buy power service provider
P B Jayakumar / Mumbai August 19, 2008, 0:08 IST

Finland-based power equipment maker Wartsila Corporation, a global leader in small- to medium-size, furnace oil- and gas-based power plants, is exploring big business growth in India.

Wartsila is set to acquire a domestic service provider for the power sector and is in advanced negotiations with power utilities and gas suppliers to form strategic alliances or joint ventures. The ventures are planned for power production, technology, engineering, procurement and construction of power plants and for their operation and maintanence, said Christoph Vitzthum, group vice-president, Wartsila. "India is a major hub for our global operations and considering the growth potential India has in the power and shipbuilding businesses, we will invest substantially in this country," he said.

Christoph, who came to India to inaugurate the new auxilliary manufacturing unit of Wartsila in Khopoli, Maharashtra, said the corporation has already invested about 7-10 million euros in India for production facilities. The new unit, along with the existing unit in Khapoli, will cater to global auxilliary requirements of the company.

Auxilliary units and modules are peripheral accessories to diesel power plants and these process the oil, fuel and water that enter the diesel engines. Rakesh Sarin, the MD of Wartsila India, said the company was in the process of sensitising policymakers and power sector players in the country on advantages of mini-power plants offered by Wartsila, which results in efficiency and reduction in transmission losses due to nearness to load centres, especially during peak load hours. Further, such power plants can come up in quick time compared with large thermal power plants that require years to take off.

ALL CHARGED UP# Wartsila Corporation, a global leader in gas-based power plants, is exploring big business growth in India# The company is in advanced negotiations with power utilities and gas suppliers to form strategic alliances or joint ventures for power production

"We are looking at development of power plants in a cluster form (such as 10 X 300 mw at a single location) near gas pipelines and are talking to many players," he said. The Rs 280-crore Wartsila India, which delisted from stock exchanges last year, has so far installed over 3,200 mw in different parts of India.

Wartsila said it is also looking at the shipping segment in India as a major growth driver for the company,mainly in industrial customers' projects. Operation and maintanence of power plants are another major revenue earner for the company, which operates and manages over 55 power plant sites covering about 148 engines and three steam turbines generating a total of 813 mw.

Christoph Vitzthum said Wartsila, one of the global leaders for marine engines and accessories, is also looking at the shipping segment in India as a major growth driver for the company. "India currently accounts for just 1 per cent of the global shipping industry and this is poised to grow to 8-9 per cent by 2015, displacing major players in Europe and Japan. We expect Wartsila India to contribute a double-digit share of revenues to our global turnover by that time," he said.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sophia Power to finalize EPC contract soon in Amravati of Maharashtra.

SteelGuru - News
August 17, 2008

Sophia Power to finalize EPC contract soon

Project Today reported that India Bulls Group promoted company Sophia Power is currently processing EPC bids and finalizing coal linkages for Phase I of the 1,320 MW (2x660 MW) thermal power project. The project is located at Village Nandgaonpet in Amravati of Maharashtra.

Phase-I forms part of Amravati thermal power project 2,640 MW to be implemented in two phases over 1,350 acres of land. SEPCO, China has evinced interest in the bids invited on May 20th 2008.

The company expects to finalize the contractor by end August 2008. The scope of work includes design, engineering, manufacturing, procurement, supply and commissioning of the project.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Adani in power purchase deal with Maharashtra State for 1320MW

Adani in power purchase deal with Maharashtra State Electricity Co - sensex,nifty,market
Adani Power Ltd (APL) said it has received the Letter of Intent (LoI) from the the Maharashtra State Electricity Company Ltd (MSECL) for supply of 1,320 MW of electricity, to be generated with domestic coal at Mundra, under competitive bidding process at Rs 2.64 a unit.

The company has already signed two power purchase agreements (PPAs) with Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) for the supply of 1,000 MW of power produced from the Mundra I and II power projects, and another 1,000 MW from the Mundra III at Rs 2.89 a unit (with imported coal) and Rs 2.35 a kilo Watt hour (kWh) or an unit (domestic coal) respectively.

Recently, Adani Power had received LoI for supply of 1,311 MW of power, also to be generated at Mundra, from Haryana Power Generation Corporation Ltd (HPGCL) at Rs 2.94 an unit (imported coal). With this, Adani Power has completed tie-ups of long-term PPAs of more than 4,500 MW. The company is setting up total generation capacity of about 9,900 MW and with this LoI, the long-term tie-up of nearly half of the output from its various generation plants has been achieved, the company spokesman said here.

The company has six coal-fired thermal power projects under various stages of development or planning, with a combined power generation capacity of 9,900 MW at a cost of around Rs 43,000 crore. It intends to sell power under a combination of long-term power purchase agreements to industrial and State-owned consumers as well as on merchant basis.

The Adanis have been able to provide competitive bids as they have presence across the entire value chain of power business. They have coal mines in Indonesia for power plants at coastal location like Mundra and at Lohara (Maharashtra) for inland location like Tiroda.

In addition, the company has placed orders for two Capsize ships for ferrying coal. APL is the largest importer for merchant coal in India at present and is also planning to set up the world’s largest coal import terminal to handle over 30 million tonnes of coal at Mundra.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Power crisis looms large as key thermal stations starve for coal

The Hindu Business Line : Power crisis looms large as key thermal stations starve for coal
Power crisis looms large as key thermal stations starve for coal

Overall coal shortage situation at an all-time high.

Anil Sasi

New Delhi, Aug 8 The coal shortage situation that has been brewing across the country’s thermal power stations has taken a turn for the worse, with at least six major thermal power stations across the country reporting that they have run out of coal stocks.

Of these, four stations – the 2000 MW Singrauli, the 2,600 MW Ramagundam, the 3,000 MW Talcher and 1,840 MW Kahalgaon – are operated by state-owned NTPC Ltd, which has communicated to the Centre that the utility is being forced to generate power based on day-to-day coal supplies at its plants and that some of its larger power stations could be shutdown if the situation does not improve fast.

The overall coal shortage situation across the country is at an all-time high, with 44 of the 77 thermal stations in the country reporting “critical stocks” required for below a week’s operations, of which 24 have supercritical stocks of under four days.
Low production

The shortages, according to the power utilities, are on account of a lower coal production by Coal India Ltd, mainly with excessive monsoon rains throwing production schedule out of gear at several coal fields, especially those in the eastern region. Higher than anticipated power generation at some stations and unloading constraints at others, combined with low levels of coal imports, have compounded the problem further. Besides, low coal supplies to its Farakka and Kahalgaon plants has been due to consistent break down of the coal handling system and non-operation of silos.

“We are forced to regulate generation based on day-to-day coal supplies and most of out key stations are facing the threat of closure. We have already asked for the Government’s intervention in directing Coal India Ltd to take action quickly or we are headed towards a major power crisis,” an NTPC official said. On August 5, for instance, NTPC’s generation at 500 million units was down by over five per cent, while Damodar Valley Corporation’s (DVC) thermal generation over 36 per cent below that target set for the day due to coal shortages, according to latest data.
Tougher Imports

To worsen matters, the import option for the country’s utilities is increasingly getting tougher as China, which is also facing low domestic reserves and acute power shortage, has stepped up coal purchases internationally. The resultant rise in the global spot prices of coal, which have shot up to over $140 per tonne in Australia and above $125 per tonne in South Africa, is further styming plans by Indian utilities to use imported coal to tide over shortages. According to official sources, NTPC has been unable to make any substantial coal imports in April and May despite the looming shortage situation.

Power utilities in the Northern and the Eastern region have been worst affected by the coal shortages. Besides NTPC stations, the other utilities that have been badly hit include Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Company Ltd (the 1,260 MW Dr N Tata Rao and 840 MW Rayalaseema thermal stations) and DVC’s 340 MW Durgapur and West Bengal SEB’s 450 MW Bandel station are among those that have run out of coal stocks.

Thermal stations are normally expected to hold coal stocks of between 15 and 30 days, depending on the location of the project. While pithead stations should hold stocks of 15 days or more, stations located away from the mine are expected to hold coal stocks for 21 to 30 days.

JSW to foray into power distribution


India Infoline News Service / Mumbai Aug 08, 2008 11:17

JSW is setting up a 1,200 MW project at Jaigad, in Ratnagiri district, of Maharashtra and the SPV will evacuate power from this plant

JSW Energy is reportedly planning to invest Rs4.75bn on setting up a 400-kv transmission evacuation system in Maharashtra in a joint venture (JV) with Maharashtra State Electricity Transmission Company (Mahatransco).

According to reports, JSW will have a 74% stake in the proposed JV while the balance 26% will be held by Mahatransco. JSW is setting up a 1,200 MW project at Jaigad, in Ratnagiri district, of Maharashtra and the SPV will evacuate power from this plant, reports add.

S.S. Rao joint MD & CEO of JSW Energy said that the debt equity ratio for the Maharashtra project is 70:30 and the debt portion has already been tied up. The SPV has applied for becoming a transmission license in the state.

According to reports, Sajjan Jindal, Vice Chairman & MD of JSW Steel says that JSW Energy is talking to Karnataka government for a similar project.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

D2E Editorial on Indian Environmental Struggles

Learn to walk Lightly
Aug 15, 2008

n Sikkim, bowing to local protests, the government has cancelled 11 hydro-electric projects. In Arunachal Pradesh, dam projects are being cleared at breakneck speed and resistance is growing. In Uttarakhand last month, 2 projects on the Ganga were put on hold and there is growing concern about the rest. In Himachal Pradesh, dams are so controversial that elections were won where candidates said they would not allow these to be built. Many other projects, from thermal power stations to Greenfield mining, are being resisted. The South Korean giant posco’s iron ore mine, steel plant and port are under fire. The prime minister has promised the South Korean premier the project will go ahead by August. But local people are not listening. They don’t want to lose their land and livelihood and do not believe in promises of compensation. In Maharashtra, mango growers are up in arms against the proposed thermal power station in Ratnagiri.

In every nook and corner of the country where land is acquired, or water sourced, for industry, people are fighting even to death. There are wounds. There is violence. There is also desperation. Like it or not, there are a million mutinies today. Like it or not, there will be two million tomorrow. Unless we understand these protests are not just about politically motivated people stirred up by outsiders and competitors to obstruct development.

I have written this before. After I visited Kalinganagar, where villagers died protesting against Tata’s project, I wrote this was not about competition or Naxalism. These were poor villagers who knew they did not have the skills to survive in the modern world. They had seen their neighbours displaced, promised jobs and money that never came. They knew they were poor. But they also knew modern development would make them poorer. It was the same in prosperous Goa, where I found village after village fighting against the powerful mining lobby, where people told me they were fed up because mining rejects destroyed their agriculture and dried-up their streams. These were educated, even skilled, people. But they did not want to drive the trucks of the miners. They wanted to till their land. Make money. Live well, if not rich.

This is the nub of the matter: we just cannot believe people, poor or relatively rich, do not want to leave their land, when we promise them jobs. We can only see their wretched poverty. We cannot understand their reason.

This article is not about them, but us. It is clear we need dams, steel plants and thermal power projects. These are key to our need to develop. We know this, and so we refuse to understand them. Used to getting our way, we are working to fast-track our development, through fiat. Our response is two-fold. First, we want to change and weaken environmental regulations in the name of streamlining procedures and providing single-window clearances to industry. Last year, the government, under pressure on environmental safeguards, changed the rules of the environmental impact assessment (eia) procedures. The idea was to ‘cut’ red tape and to give fast clearances. There is now pressure to give de-facto clearance to all mining projects that have been given a clearance to prospect for minerals. There are also murmurs about removing thermal projects from environmental clearances. And now, a powerful grouping of real estate movers and shakers are demanding no clearances be required for urban projects—malls, residential areas, whatever.

We also justify this process, saying the institutions that grant clearances are corrupt and incompetent. We do not say these same institutions have been made corrupt because we have promoted procedures for our convenience and access to decision-making. We do not say the eia is not worth the paper it is written on, or that the consultant is given money by us, not to assess a project but to get it cleared. We also do not demand these institutions must be given more staff, more facilities and more ways to do their job.

Second, we lose patience. And with it, we are losing our humanity. Today, people are in a dirty war even as we stoop, to stop at nothing to quell the fight. Our tactics are well rehearsed. We first work on the leaders. If we can’t buy them, we threaten them. If that fails, we hide behind the might of the state to ensure protest is muzzled. But what we should realise, fast, is these strategies are not working. Yes, we get our way in some cases, for some time. But what resentment and anger, even hatred, we create, in our own backyard. We must realise these struggles are not ‘time-pass movements’ (as the slang goes). These are about survival. The fact is in India vast numbers depend on the land, the forests and the water they have in their vicinity for their livelihood. They know once these resources are gone or degraded, they have no way ahead.

This is the environmental movement of the very poor. Here, there are no quick-fix techno solutions in which the real problems can be fobbed off for later. In this environmentalism, there is only one answer: changing the way we do business, with them and with their environment. It will demand we reduce our need and increase our efficiency for every inch of land we need, every tonne of mineral we dig and every drop of water we use. It will demand new arrangements to share benefits with local communities so that they are persuaded to part with their resources for a common development.

If we can listen and learn, maybe this environmentalism of the poor may teach not just us, but the entire world, how to walk lightly on earth. Maybe. Just maybe.

—Sunita Narain
Source: Down to Earth Editor's page Archive

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tata Buy Bhutan power

Why nobody interested in such minimal damage projects in India

Tata Power buys 26 per cent stake in Bhutan power project

Mumbai: Tata Power Co Ltd has acquired a 26 per cent stake in Druk Green Power Corporation Ltd (DGPC) - the 114 MW run-of-the-river Dagachhu hydroelectric power project - being developed by the Bhutan government.

The project will be executed through a special purpose vehicle, Dagachhu Hydro Power Corp Ltd (DHPC), it said.

''We are happy to work with the Royal Government of Bhutan on the Dagachhu Hydro Electric Power project. This partnership consists of equity participation and offtake of power by the company and Tata Power Trading Company Ltd respectively,'' said Prasad Menon, managing director of Tata Power.

Tata Power Trading has agreed to purchase all the power generated from the project and Tata Power Trading will offtake power from the project for a period of 25 years. The power will be delivered at India-Bhutan Border.

21 July 2008
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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oil cos seek review of eco clearance norms

This is what is called Corporate concern for Environment
Oil cos seek review of eco clearance norms

Sanjay Jog
Posted online: Friday , July 18, 2008 at 01:30 hrs
Updated On: Friday , July 18, 2008 at 01:30 hrs
After the power companies, its the turn of oil companies to make a strong argument in favour of amendments to the existing environment clearance guidelines.
In their recent presentation to the petroleum ministry, IOC, BPCL, HPCL, BRPL, MRPL and NRL have said existing guidelines should be eased out in a serious bid to achieve the timely completion of various projects.
These companies have suggested that the terms of reference (ToR) and the methodology for the environment impact assessment (EIA) study should be standardised for different categories of industry and projects.
 blog it

Saturday, July 5, 2008

ABB wins INR 295 crore orders from JSW power plant

July 03, 2008

ABB wins orders for JSW power plant

It is reported that ABB in India has won orders worth INR 295 crore to provide power solutions for JSW Energy for its upcoming 1200 MW thermal power plant in Ratnagiri in Maharashtra.

The orders are for a range of power solutions including, electrical balance of plant, 400kV gas insulated switchgear substation and generator transformers.

Mr Biplab Majumder country manager & MD of ABB India said that "We are proud of our long standing partnership with the JSW Group. With this order we continue to build on this relationship. ABB’s power products and systems will ensure safe and reliable operation of the plant while optimizing energy consumption of the equipment."

ABB’s solutions for the project comprise several leading edge power technologies for improved system efficiency. The modular environmental business opportunities program solution for 300MW generating units will provide optimized and integrated solutions for complete plant electricals including shunt reactors, bus ducts, control and relay panels, MV and LT switchgear, other auxiliary systems and four 20kV generator circuit breakers, thus providing a further boost towards GCB scheme usages by thermal power plants in India.

The 400kV GIS substation will provide substantial space saving due to its compact design. With all live parts enclosed and protected against negative influences the gas insulated switchgear ensures enhanced operational reliability and safety.

ABB’s scope of delivery also includes 20/420 kV generator transformers. ABB’s transformers are designed and manufactured for high reliability, reduced life cycle costs and optimized electrical design for minimized losses.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Reliance Power acquiring coal mine in Indonesia

Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, May 02, 2008

Coal supplies for mega projects in AP, Maharashtra

Rahul Wadke

Mumbai, May 1 Reliance Power Ltd, the recently listed power generation company of the Anil Ambani group, would be investing about $1 billion (Rs 4,000 crore) in acquiring and developing a coal mine in the South Sumatra province of Indonesia.

The sub-bituminous coal would be supplied to the company’s 4,000-MW Ultra Mega Power Project at Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, which would be on stream by 2013. Coal would also be supplied to the 4,000-MW Shahapur power project in Maharashtra, which has a thermal power component of 1,200 MW.

The mine has enough spare capacity to supply to an additional mega coastal power project.

Sub-bituminous is a type of coal whose properties range from lignite to bituminous coal. It is primarily used as fuel for steam-electric power generation.

Talking to Business Line, Mr J.P. Chalasani, CEO of the company, said that $600 million would be invested in the mine acquisition and another $400 million would be spent in setting up the 100-km railway line for transporting coal and setting up a captive jetty, he said.

Mr Chalasani said that mine has coal resources of about 2 billion tonnes. The exploitable reserves are about 1.2 billion tonnes. The mining rights are currently with a local company and have received all the regulatory clearances. There are no court cases pending against the mine. The mine will start producing coal by 2012-13, he said.

“There would be no upfront payment for acquisition. Payment is linked to the coal production and money would be paid on tonnage. Therefore, our Indonesian counterpart has additional incentive in developing the mine faster,” Mr Chalasani said.

Reliance Power is the second large domestic power company to acquire coal mines in Indonesia. In March 2007, Tata Power had invested $1.1 billion to purchase 30 per cent equity stake in two major Indonesian thermal coal producers, PT Kaltim Prima Coal and PT Arutmin Indonesia and a related trading company owned by PT Bumi Resources Tbk.
Up coming projects

Reliance Power is developing 13 projects of which three projects are likely to come up by 2010. The Rosa-I of 600 MW would be on stream by 2009 and Rosa-II of 600 MW by 2010. The Butibori captive power of 300 MW will come up in 18 months, a company official said.

More Stories on : Overseas Investments | Power | Coal

Monday, April 28, 2008

Italy Switching back to coal ?

Europeans switching back to coal
Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CIVITAVECCHIA, Italy: At a time when the world's top climate experts agree that carbon emissions must be rapidly reduced to hold down global warming, a leading Italian electricity producer, Enel, is converting its massive power plant here from oil to coal, the dirtiest fuel on earth.

Over the next five years, Italy will increase its reliance on coal to 33 percent from 14 percent. Power generated by Enel from coal will rise to 50 percent. And Italy is not alone in its return to coal.

Driven by rising demand, record high oil and natural gas prices, concerns over energy security and an aversion to nuclear energy, European countries are slated to build about 50 coal-fired plants over the next five years, plants that will be in use for the next five decades.

The fast-expanding developing economies of India and China, where coal remains a major fuel source for more than two billion people, have long been regarded as one of the biggest challenges to reducing carbon emissions.

But the return now to coal even in eco-conscious Europe is sowing real alarm among environmentalists who warn that it is setting the world on a disastrous trajectory that will make controlling global warming impossible. They are aghast at the renaissance of coal, a fuel more commonly associated with a sooty Dickens novel and which was on its way out just a decade ago.

There have been protests here in Civitavecchia; at a new Vattenfall plant in Germany; at a plant in the Czech Republic; as well as at the Kingsnorth Power station in Kent, which is slated to become Britian's first new coal-fired plant in over a decade.

European power-station owners emphasize that they are making the new coal plants as clean as possible. But critics say that "clean coal" is a pipe dream, an oxymoron in terms of the carbon emissions that count most toward climate change. They call the building spree short-sighted.

"Building new coal-fired power plants is ill-conceived," said James Hansen, a leading climatologist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. "Given our knowledge about what needs to be done to stabilize climate, this plan is like barging into a war without having a plan for how it should be conducted, even though information is available.

"We need a moratorium on coal now," he added, "with phase out of existing plants over the next two decades."

Enel, like many electricity companies, says it has little choice but to build coal plants to replace aging infrastructure, particularly in countries like Italy, which prohibit nuclear power. Fuel costs have risen 151 percent since 1996, and Italians pay the highest electricity costs in Europe.

In the United States, fewer new coal plants are slated to go on line, in part because it is becoming hard to get regulatory permits for those previously planned and in part because nuclear power is an alternative, politically unacceptable in much of Europe.

In terms of cost and energy security, coal has all the advantages, its proponents argue. Coal reserves will last for 200 years, rather than 50 like natural gas and oil. It is relatively cheap compared to oil and natural gas, although coal prices have tripled in the past few years. More important, many countries export coal - there is not a coal cartel - so there is more room to negotiate prices.

"In order to get over oil, which is getting more and more expensive, our plan is to convert all oil plants to coal using clean-coal technologies," Gianfilippo Mancini, Enel's head of generation and energy management, said. "This will be the cleanest coal plant in Europe. We are hoping to prove that is will be possible to make sustainable and environmentally friendly use of coal."

"Clean coal" is a term coined decades ago by the industry, referring to its efforts to reduce local pollution. Using new technology, clean coal plants sharply cut down the number of sooty particles spewed into the air, as well as gases like sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide. The technology has no effect on carbon.

In contrast, the technology that the industry is counting on to reduce the carbon emissions that add to global warning - carbon capture and storage - is not now available for coal. No one knows if it is feasible on a large, cost-effective scale.

Enel says it will only start experimenting with the technology - in which carbon emissions are pumped into underground reservoirs rather than released - in 2015, in the hopes of "a solution" by 2020.

"That's too late," said Jeff Sachs, head of Columbia University's Earth Institute.

In the meantime, new coal plants will be spewing more green house gas emissions into the atmosphere than ever before, meaning that current climate predictions - dire as they are - may still be "too optimistic," he said. "They assume the old energy mix even though coal will be a larger and larger part."

The problem is that carbon capture and storage, the holy grail of clean coal, will take global coordination and billions of dollars in investment, Sachs says, which no one country or company seems inclined to spend.

There are a few dozen small demonstration projects in Europe and in the United States, most in the early stages. But progress has not been promising.

At the end of January the administration of President George W. Bush canceled what was previously by far the biggest carbon capture demonstration project in the United States, at a coal-fired plant in Illinois, because of massive cost overruns.

The European Union had pledged to develop 12 pilot carbon capture projects for Europe, but said that was not enough. There is a new coal-fired plant going up in India and China every week and most of those are not constructed in a way that is amenable to carbon capture, even if it were developed.

Many have likened carbon capture's road from the demonstration lab to a safe, cheap, available reality as a challenge equivalent to putting a man on the moon. Norway, which is investing heavily to test the technology calls carbon capture its "moon landing." In fact it may be even harder than that. It is a moon landing that must be replicated daily at thousands of coal plants in hundreds of countries, many of them poor.

Plants that are capable of capturing carbon gases - those that generate pure carbon as an efflux - cost 10 percent to 20 percent more to build and only a handful exist today. For most coal power plants the costs of converting would be "phenomenal," concluded a report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

More to the point, while capturing carbon involves technology, storing it is at some level inherently local. Geologists have to determine whether there is a suitable underground site for storing the emissions, calculate how much carbon it can hold and then equip it in a way that prevent leaks and insure safety. A massive leak of underground carbon could be as dangerous as a leak of nuclear fuel critics say.

"Figuring out carbon capture is really critical - it may not work in the end - and if it is not viable, the situation with respect to climate change is far more dire," Sachs said.

On many fronts, the new Enel plant is a model of efficiency and recycling. The nitrous oxide is chemically altered to generate ammonia, which is then sold. The resulting coal ash and gypsum is sold to the cement industry. An on-site desalination facility means that the plant generates its own water for cooling. Even the heated water that comes out of the plant is not wasted: it heats a fish farm, one of Italy's largest.

But Enel's plan to deal with the new plant's carbon emissions consists mostly of a map of Italy with several huge white ovals superimposed - subterranean cavities where CO2 could be potentially be stored. The sites have not been fully studied by geologists as yet to make sure they are safe storage sites and well sealed. There is no infrastructure or equipment that could move carbon into them.

The new Enel plant here opens its first boiler in two months. It will immediately produce fewer carbon emissions than the ancient oil boiler it replaces, but only because it will produce less electricity, officials here admit.

In the towns surrounding Civitavecchia the impending arrival of a massive coal plant, with its three silvery domes, is being greeted with a hefty dose of dread.

"They call it clean coal because they use some filters, but it is really nonsense," said Marza Marzioli, spokesman for the "No Coal" citizens group in the nearby ancient Etruscan town of Tarquinia. "If you compare it to the old plant yes its better, but it's not 'clean' in any way."

The group says that Enel has won approval for a dangerous new coal plant by buying machines for local hospital and through massive public relations. Enel ads for the project show a young girl erasing a electricity plant's smokestack. A 2007 local referendum voted no, but the plant went ahead anyway, the group said.

The European Union, through its emissions trading scheme, has tried to get power plants to consider the costs of carbon by forcing them to buy "permits" for emissions. But with the price of oil so high, coal is far cheaper even with the cost of permits to pollute factored in, Enel has calculated.

Stephan Singer, head of European energy and climate office of the environmental group WWF in Brussels, says that math is shortsighted: The cost of coal and permits will almost certainly rise over the next decade.

"If they want coal to be part of the energy solution, they have to show us that carbon capture can be done now, that they can really reduce emissions" to an acceptable level, he said.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chowgule Steamships Signs Concession Agreement for Development of Jaigad Port

Stock Report

Chowgule Steamships Signs Concession Agreement for Development of Jaigad Port

Chowgule Steamships Ltd has announced that on March 28, 2008 Chowgule Ports & Infrastructure Pvt Ltd (CPIPL), a Company co-promoted by Chowgule Steamships Ltd, has signed a Concession Agreement with Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) inter alia for development of a minor port at Jaigad.

CPIPL is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) floated to undertake the port infrastructure development and Ship Repair projects at Jaigad. The port development projects would be undertaken under BOOST basis. In terms of the Concession Agreement, MMB has also an option to contribute up to 11% in the eventual capital of CPIPL.

The stock was trading at Rs.37.05, up by Rs.1.75 or 4.96%. The stock hit an intraday high of Rs.37.05 and low of Rs.37.

The total traded quantity was 3546 compared to 2 week average of 79267.

Source: Equity Bulls

Posted On: 3/28/2008 3:22:24 AM

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Monday, March 17, 2008

JSW in $2 bn deal with Japan’s K Line for transporting coal

JSW in $2 bn deal with Japan’s K Line

JSW is setting up a 1,200MW coal-fired power plant in Jaigad, Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra, and a similar plant at Simar in Gujarat

P. Manoj

Bangalore: India’s JSW Group has signed a $2 billion (Rs8,160 crore), 10-year deal with Japan’s third biggest shipping firm by sales, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (or K Line), for transporting coal that will be used to fire the company’s steel and power plants, an arrangement that will ensure that the company is not affected by an increase in freight rates.
K Line will deploy 10 dry bulk carriers to ship coking and thermal coal from mines owned by the OP Jindal group in Indonesia and Mozambique, as well as coal from mines in Australia and China.
For JSW, the deal is beneficial as it will insulate the company from any escalation in freight rates, said a company executive who does not want to be named. Dry bulk shipping rates have been rising mainly due to demands for shipping raw materials into China and India.
The contract was signed by Hiroyuki Maekawa, president of K Line, and Sajjan Jindal, vice-chairman and managing director of JSW Steel Ltd and chairman of JSW Energy Ltd.
The group needs more coal as it has some new plants coming up. JSW is setting up a 1,200MW coal-fired power plant in Jaigad, Ratnagiri district, Maharashtra, and a similar plant at Simar in Gujarat.
It is also planning a 900MW power plant close to its steel plant at Vijayanagar, Bellary district, Karnataka. The company currently operates a 450MW plant in Bellary, which, apart from meeting its own captive needs, sells power to Power Trading Corp. Ltd.
Besides, JSW Steel is expanding its existing steel mill in Vijayanagar and plans to build two new mills in Jharkhand and West Bengal. JSW Energy, the group’s power generation unit, plans to expand to 15,000MW by 2015 (including coal thermal and hydropower plants).
The contract with K Line will start later in 2008 with two panamax ships. Five capesize ships and three more post-panamax ships will be deployed from 2011-12. By 2015, when all the ships enter service, JSW will be importing about 12 million tonnes of coal. “Freight revenue from the 10 vessels is expected to be over $200 million a year,” K Line said in a statement.
JSW had earlier concluded ship charter contracts with K Line for three vessels—a panamax starting 2008 and two post-panamaxes starting 2009. Thus, the total volume of coal K Line will transport for JSW by 2015 is expected to be around 15 million tonnes per annum, which is more than 40% of the total volume of coal to be imported by the two companies.
Panamax ships are called so because they are the biggest ships that can sail through the Panama Canal fully laden.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mega power plant in Lalitpur, UP

Mega power plant in Lalitpur
2 Mar 2008, 0223 hrs IST,Pankaj Shah,TNN

LUCKNOW: In a major leap to achieve self-sufficiency by 2012, the UP Power Corporation Limited (UPPCL) has decided to set up a 4,000 mw ultra mega thermal power plant in Lalitpur district.

This would be the biggest plant to be set up by the corporation with the help of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

The plant, larger than the gas-based Dadri Power plant proposed in the NCR region, is expected to come up by 2012, by when most of the other proposed plants are also expected to be completed.

Chairman, UPPCL, GB Patnaik said that they would be entering into an agreement with the NTPC "within 30 days" for setting up of the mega project.

"Our target is to have power generation of 10,000 mw which is the basic requirement of the state," he said while talking to TOI. Interestingly, such type of power plants are set up in areas which are either on the sea coast or in the coal belt.

"We cannot change the geography of the state, but we can still try to have that," he said.

The decision to install the mega project comes barely days after a 'separate coal block' in Chedipura district of Orissa was allocated to UP along with Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra at the cost of Rs 40,000 crore by the Centre.

According to the arrangement, UP would be the biggest partner with 50 per cent share.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

168 power projects cleared in 3 years

Environmental clearnace givrn to 168 power projects

01 March 2008

168 power projects have been accorded environmental clearance during the last three years. This includes 128 thermal power projects, 39 hydroelectric projects and 1 nuclear power project.

As of 15th February, 2008, 43 power projects are pending for environmental clearance, which include 37 thermal power projects, five hydroelectric projects and one nuclear power project. To facilitate early decision on these projects, their status is monitored continuously.

The environment impact assessment (EIA) notification, 2006, provides for appraisal of the impact that a project will have on the environment. This is done through EIA reports submitted by the project proponents and assessed by the multi-disciplinary expert appraisal committees constituted by the ministry of environment and forests.

Friday, February 29, 2008

PM to lay foundation stone for 1,980 MW Tiroda STPP

PM to lay foundation stone for thermal power station in Maharashtra
9 Feb, 2008, 1135 hrs IST, AGENCIES

GONDIA: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will lay the foundation stone for the 1,980 MW Tiroda super thermal power station in Maharashtra's Gondia District today.

State Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Energy Minister Sushilkumar Shinde will attend the function.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil and host of cabinet ministers from the state will also present on the occasion.

During his one-day visit, Dr. Singh will also lay the foundation stone for the establishment of Rajiv Gandhi National Flying Training Institute of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) at Birsi airport in Gondia.

Before returning to Delhi, the Prime Minister will also attend the annual day function of Gondia Education Society headed by Praful Patel
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