Protection of Environment

Concerns relating to pollution and the disposal of the large amount of ash from coal based power stations, which are the mainstay of India's power generation, are being addressed through strategies to promote environmentally sustainable power development.

Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for Afforestation

A Special Purpose Vehicle is being set up jointly by NTPC and other Central Power Sector Undertakings as a Registered Society to take up afforestation and environmental measures in order to reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The objectives of the Society shall be to:

  • Undertake fruitful channelising of investments by members to increase the national forest cover.
  • Identify suitable lands for afforestation for power projects of NTPC and other members through Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) which will coordinate with the State Forest Departments/District Rural Development Authority etc.
  • Facilitate quick procurement of forest clearance for the forestland proposed to be acquired by NTPC and other members for the future projects to be set up.
  • Interact with MOEF to score off the necessary compensatory afforestation required for projects of NTPC and other members, which needs diversion of forestland.

It is noteworthy that NTPC has already planted over 1.45 crore trees, which is one of the biggest afforestation efforts in the country. In fact the ambient temperature around the Ramagundam Station of NTPC has come down by 30 Celsius due to the afforestation done by NTPC as revealed in a study by the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), Hyderabad.

Fly Ash Utilisation Action Plan

All the coal based power stations put together generate around 90 million tonnes of fly-ash per annum. The Fly Ash Mission of TIFAC has made several useful recommendations for utilisation of fly-ash in the manufacture of cement, bricks, pavement materials, floor tiles, wall panels etc., and in agriculture, road construction, land-filling and back-filling of mines.

Armed with the findings of the national laboratories that flyash is superior in strength and durability as compared to conventional products, the Ministry of Power is taking steps to make the use of flyash products mandatory in road and bridge construction, and construction of Government buildings as is being done in the developed countries and to provide fiscal incentives initially to supplement the market mechanism for taking up production and promotion of fly ash products.

Initiatives for improving the environmental performance of coal based stations

  1. NTPC has achieved ISO-14001 standards for 11 plants owned by it and 2 more, being managed by it. The Company is in the process of achieving the same in case of its balance power plants.
  2. Improvement of Heat-rate is a continuous exercise in NTPC, which has yielded significant benefits. NTPC officials have been asked to submit a detailed action plan for the next five years for heat rate improvement not only in NTPC but also in power stations of State Electricity Boards.
  3. Sipat Super Thermal Power of NTPC will adopt Super Critical Technology for the first time in India. Thereafter, NTPC has planned to adopt super critical boiler technology for North-Karanpura, Barh, Kahalgaon-II projects.
  4. With regard to setting up a commercial scale demonstration plant based on IGCC technology, NTPC has sent coal samples to the Department of Energy in USA to find out feasibility of IGCC with Indian coal. Thereafter, a team of officials from NTPC will visit the concerned laboratory as well as IGCC plant under operation in USA.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

To address increasing concerns related to the environment and to improve environmental performance, the services of Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI) have been engaged for providing consultancy services to the Ministry of Power on CDM. The terms of reference include project formulation, base line surveys for each project, negotiations with the CDM parties, identification of the counterpart CDM parties from the developed countries, cost of CO2 monitoring and verification of CO2 emission reduction and supervision of project implementation.

ISO 14001

Established in November 1975 for nation's Sustainable Power Development, National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd. (NTPC) is today India's largest power utility with an installed capacity of 21,749 MW (19% of India's installed capacity) contributing to 26% of total generation in the country, with high availability factor of its power plants. NTPC has plans to double its capacity. NTPC has recently diversified into the hydro sector and formed for joint venture companies for distribution, R&M, etc. Environment Management is a high priority area in the company and several Policies have been formulated to ensure generation of green power. Through persuasion of sound environmental management systems and practices , NTPC's 18 stations have been accredited with ISO:14001 certification. As a responsible corporate citizen, NTPC is a member of Global Compact a UN initiative for Corporate social responsibility.

The focus and emphasis in future in the company will be on generation of power in line with global standards and in complete harmony with the environment and nature.