National Thermal Power Corporation(NTPC) plans to set up four fly-ash-based cement plants across the country over the next few years. It has recently sought expressions of interest from prospective joint venture partners to set up a company to manufacture cement. This is NTPC’s first step towards forward integeration, wherein it plans to use fly-ash generated by its power plants. Fly-ash is a by-product obtained from burning coal and is a major raw material used in cement manufacturing.R K Jain, director - technical, NTPC, said, “Since we generate large volumes of fly-ash from our power plants, venturing into fly-ash-based cement manufacturing is a logical step.”The company generates close to 45 million tonnes of fly-ash every year, he said. Though Jain did not disclose the capacity of the proposed cement plants and the investment planned, he said NTPC will will supply the raw material and land for the joint venture while the partner will offer technical and manufacturing support.
NTPC is the largest power generation company in the country with a total installed capacity of 29,894 mw. Of this, 65% is coal-based, which consumes close to 230-250 million tonnes of coal every year. This in turn generates up to 42 million tonnes of ash and the number is expected to grow to 170 million tonnes by 2010.
NTPC generates 30 percent of India’s electricity through coal and gas. NTPC said it could produce 42 million tons of fly ash annually from its 28 gigawatts of installed capacity. Currently, NTPC uses about 20 percent of its fly ash for cement and other industries, with the rest going to landfills or road construction projects. The cement could also help meet the country’s shortage of the building material, NTPC officials said. The fly ash-based cement, or other ash-based products, could be sold for a profit, the company said. NTPC plans to establish joint ventures with cement manufacturers, contributing fly ash, power and land.