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Home News Power Sector News Power cos should stop using carbon tetrachloride by 2009 December - Centre

Power cos should stop using carbon tetrachloride by 2009 December - Centre

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carbon tetrachloride (CTC)Central government has asked all power companies involved in distribution, transmission and generation of electricity to stop using carbon tetrachloride (CTC), a chemical that damages the ozone layer, by December 31. CTC is used is mainly used to clean the contacts of electrical equipments, deposits on insulators, motor insulation and transformer windings. Sources in state energy ministry said that use of the chemical in the state was minimal and the target would be met by December end.

Sources further said that CTC was an ozone depleting substance like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CTC exposure to high concentrations could also lead to severe health problems and even death. CTC is also one of the greenhouse gases that are blamed for causing global warming.

When research indicated these harmful effects of CTC, there was widespread concern and 130 countries decided to sign the Montreal protocol that commits the signatories to phase out use of the chemical. India signed the protocol in September 1992. Based on the average production and consumption of the baseline years 1998 to 2000, CTC's use was to be reduced by 85% by 2004-end and it has to be completely phased out completely by 2009 end. In this task, Government of India is assisted by World Bank, UNIDO, UNDP and bilateral partners deputed by France, Germany and Japan.

After signing the protocol, the union ministry of power (UMoP) constituted a committee of Central Electricity Authority (CEA) experts to accomplish the task. The Central government also set up an ozone cell in the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) as the coordinating agency for phase-out of CTC.

The data collected from various power utilities by CEA revealed that use of CTC had reduced drastically in the past few years and environment friendly alternatives to CTC were being used. However, it had not stopped completely. Sources further said that central government was also reducing use of CTC in other sectors. The ozone cell had put in place a regulatory frame work and national phase-out plan. A sectoral programme in association with Germany was started. Germany is providing full support to Indian industries in the textiles and metal cleaning sector (including electrical applications) for smooth transition to a CTC free world.

Source - Times of India

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