India Power Plant Emissions
India has targeted significant reduction of particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from coal fired power plants by 2022. The most challenging piece of the government’s plan is retrofitting 440 power units of 166.5 Gigawatts (GW) capacity with flue gas desulphurization systems. About 54% of India’s installed power generation capacity is fueled by coal and coal fired thermal power, which ranks among the highest polluting industries in India. In 2015, the Government of India introduced new power plant standards and pollution control equipment needed to achieve targeted emission reduction by December 2022. Power producers will make significant investments in installing pollution control technologies and India’s Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) estimates the cumulative investment required is about $35 billion.
India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) targeted significant reduction of particulate matter (PM), sulfur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from coal fired power plants. Other key stakeholders in this air pollution mitigation project are: the Ministry of Power (MoP), Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Government owned and India’s largest power producer NTPC Limited and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The most challenging piece of the government’s plan is retrofitting 440 power units of 166.5 Gigawatts (GW) capacity with flue gas desulphurization (FGD) systems by December 2022. It is likely that the time frame for installation will be extended and these emission norms present numerous export opportunities for American air pollution control technology firms over the next five years.
Opportunities for U.S. Firms:
The following areas of expertise are required by India’s power plants: Pollutant technology in Particulate Matter (PM), Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP), Sulfur Oxide (SOx), Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) system, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), and Selective Non Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) or Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems.
The action plan and directives provide a roadmap for various pollutant categories in 650 power plants of India, comprised of 198.5 GW of installed capacity (as of March 2020): SOx: FGD will be installed in 440 plants, covering 166.5 GW capacity. NTPC has been the frontrunner in soliciting bids for FGD systems and awarded 27.5 GW through December 2019. India is the largest emitter of SOx in the world, accounting for 15% of the anthropogenic emissions. FGD installations can help reduce these emission amounts significantly. Prior to the MoEFCC order, there were no norms for the control of SO2 emissions. Estimated capital cost for FGD systems in India is about $70,422/MW.
Out of a total of 197 GW of plant capacity as of December 2017, PM non-compliant capacity was 73 GW (37%) in 222 plants. Out of this, 66 GW capacity was considered for ESP implementation/up-gradation plan. Most of the plants are on track with the project schedules.
NOx: pre-combustion modifications in boiler, installation of low NOx burners, over fire air along with installation.
The TERI report dated February 2020 provides a detailed status of implementation with graphics.
Challenges for U.S. Suppliers:
The government’s plan to retrofit 440 power units aggregating to 166.5 GW with FGD systems by December 2022 is behind schedule. Only 73 power plants closed its bidding processes and awarded contracts (as of September 2019 and latest data available). This adds up to only 35 GW capacity. Other plants are at various stages ranging from the feasibility study to the tendering process. Installation of FGD systems takes 27-30 months from concept to commissioning. Also, some power plants have raised the issue of availability of limestone and problems with the of disposal of gypsum generated as a by-product of the FGD process.
Regarding NOx reduction, U.S. vendors have expressed disappointment with the outcomes of the NTPC-conducted pilot tests, which declared SCR and SNCR technologies ineffective for high ash Indian coals, thus taking away a sizeable business opportunity in the region of $1 billion.
Interested U.S. firms are encouraged to write to firstname.lastname@example.org.