Power ministry not in favour of retrofitting old power plants

Tuesday, 02 January 2018 00:00 Pradeep B

GeneratorThe power ministry is mulling using supercritical power plants to meet new emission norms instead of retrofitting the old polluting units, which could increase their tariff by up to 93 paise per unit.

The government has estimated a capital expenditure of Rs88 lakh to Rs1.28 crore per megawatt for retrofitting the old plant to meet new emission norms. “The ministry is not in favour of retrofitting the old plants and wants to use supercritical technology. The ministry has a policy for not going for retrofitting over 25-year old plants,” an official said.

The official further said, “The government does not want to continue with old technology... Besides environmental cost, they are less energy efficient.” The installation of various equipment like flue-gas desulfurization for SOx control and conversion of open cycle to close cycle and increased cost of operation and maintenance could result in increase in tariff by 62 to 93 paise per unit in first year of the plant’s operation, said power minister R.K. Singh in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

Singh also told the House that the capital expenditure on retrofitting old plants to comply with new norms will be up to Rs1.28 crore per megawatt. The ministry of environment, forest and climate change had issued revised environment norms on 7 December 2015. The ministry had given two years time period to meet these norm which already lapsed last month.