Despite diktat, Telangana uses fresh water in power plants

Even though the Union ministry of power wants the states to use treated sewage water in thermal power plants, there is not much progress in state in that direction.

Published: 28th June 2017 02:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2017 08:15 AM   |  A+A-

Labourers inside a plant. (File | REUTERS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Even though the Union ministry of power wants the states to use treated sewage water in thermal power plants, there is not much progress in Telangana in that direction. All the new thermal power plants proposed will use only fresh water.Urging the states, the director (thermal) in the ministry Sh Sanjeev Kumar Kassi has made a presentation on usage of treated sewage water at a meeting of the states in Delhi recently.

According to Sanjeev Kumar, the demand for electricity has been growing at a rate of 6 per cent. Coal-based thermal power generation is estimated to reach about 277 GW by the end of 2027 and will require huge quantity of water for the plants’ operation.One unit of electricity (kWh) generated from coal requires about three litres of water and, at present, the annual generation of power at the thermal power plants in the country is around 950 BU which requires about 2,800 million cubic metres/annum (around 7,700 million litres per day). The requirement of water is likely to grow to 12,000 MLD by 2026-27. 

Difficulties are already being faced at the existing thermal power plants due to non-availability of water.
To conserve fresh water, the ministry of power is promoting the use of treated sewage water in thermal power plants and has recommended the usage. Where power plants  are located within a radius of 50 km from sewage treatment plants, use of treated sewage water has been made mandatory in revised tariff policy.

Any investment on STP water is factored into while framing the tariff policy and the fixed costs determined accordingly so as not to disturb the merit order of such thermal plant.According to CPCB, out of the total 62,000 MLD estimated sewage generation in the country, about 23,277 MLD is being treated at present. With the increasing population, high rate of urbanisation in coming years and various scheme launched by the central government, such as Smart Cities, AMRUT and National Mission for Clean Ganga the sewage treatment capacity will grow further, The ministry proposed that the large volume of sewage offered a tremendous potential for its use in thermal power plants so that fresh water can be spared, conserved and used for drinking and irrigation purposes.

The MoP also suggested that power plants may adopt suitable business models with municipalities for using treated sewage water either on PPP model with full or partial investment from PPP partner of municipalities/utilities or on EPC model with full investment made by the utility alone or municipality alone or both.

Fresh water for Yadadri, KTPS-VII

The water required for the proposed Yadadri thermal power plant at Damaracherla will be 3.10 tmcft per year. It will be met from River Krishna. The irrigation department is drawing 6.6 tmcft water a year from the Krishna. However, the nearest municipality, Nalgonda is within a 50-km radius. The water required for KTPS stage-VII at Paloncha is 0.80 tmcft and it will be drawn from the Godavari.


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