ANGUL: The 1,200 mega watt (MW) captive power plant of National Aluminium Company (Nalco) here faces an imminent closure due to lack of facilities to evacuate the slurry.
The two ash ponds of the company have been filled to maximum and are hardly in a position to contain more slurry. The company’s proposal to dump slurry in a void coal mine at Talcher, as a long term solution, is pending due to political hassles. Nalco generates about 6,000 tonnes of ash daily at present from its seven 120 MW units.
According to official source, Nalco got a void coal mine at Bharatpur in 2010 and accordingly work order was issued to a contractor in 2011 to construct 23 km pipeline from the power plant to mine. The work was to be completed in about two years time but the construction is not over due to lack of forest clearances and other reasons. Moreover, local villagers have been demanding sops hindering the process.
“Only 5 km pipeline remains to be completed but the work has suffered cost escalation due to delay. If the work does not restart soon, we will have trouble in dumping the slurry and the power plant will have to be closed”, the official said.
“As a temporary solution, we are raising the height of the existing ash dyke by 3 metres with the permission of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB). It can be managed for one year more,” he said.