If all goes well, construction of the 500 MW petroleum coke(petcoke)-based power project by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) will commence by March next year.
Envisaged as a green project, it will take at least three years to set up the plant, at an expected cost of Rs 6000 crore. FACT land at Ambalamugal and HMT land at Kalamasserry are the probable sites for the project and a decision in this regard will be taken at a ministerial level meeting later this month.
Petcoke is a byproduct from BPCL Kochi Refinery, which will be available after the completion of the integrated refinery expansion project by December 2015.
The technology used in the project will be Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) which is cleaner and environment-friendly.
IGCC is a technology that uses a gasifier to turn petcoke into synthesis gas (syngas). It then removes impurities from the syngas before it is combusted. Some of the pollutants, such as sulphur, can be turned into re-usable byproducts. This results in lower emissions of sulphur dioxide, particulates, and mercury. KSEB chairman M Sivasankaran said that the per unit cost of power from the proposed plant will be Rs 5.91.
"Though the initial cost of the project is high, the plant which operates with IGCC technology is environmental friendly. Another advantage is that the land requirement will also be reduced by 20 acres. After the finalisation of the site we will soon go for environmental clearance and a tender will be floated to decide the operating agency", he added.
He hoped that the construction of the plant will start in this financial year. Each kg of petcoke produces 6,000 kcal of heat energy when combusted, 150 per cent more than the same quantity of coal produces.
"Only 300 petcoke-based plants are operational in the world. About 3-4 machinery variants are available to produce power from petcoke. The pricing of petcoke is another factor which has to be discussed in detail", said George Paul, DGM, BPCL Kochi Refinery.
According to BPCL Kochi Refinery officials the company will be able to provide 1.4 million metric tonnes of petcoke a year after the completion of the expansion project.
Source- Indian Express