The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued directions to thermal power plants to ensure compliance with its revised implementation plan for installation of flue gas de-sulphurisation (FGD) and other emission control equipment, Parliament was informed on Thursday. Power Minister RK Singh told the Lok Sabha in a written reply said the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had submitted a revised phased implementation plan to be implemented by 2022 for installing flue gas de-sulphurisation in plants for 414 units with a total capacity of 1,61,402 MW, and upgradation of electrostatic precipitators in 222 plants for a capacity of 64,525 MW.

“The CPCB has issued directions on 11.12.2017 to thermal power plants to ensure compliance as per the revised plan submitted by the Power Ministry,” the Minister said. “The CPCB has informed that the plants which do not have space for setting up of flue gas de-sulphurisation (FGD) systems are to explore alternate technologies such as dry sorbent injection or use of low sulphur coal to comply with the new norms,” he added. To meet the new emission limits for sulphur oxides, thermal power plants are required to install flue-gas desulphurisation, a technology that helps remove sulphur dioxide from the exhaust gases.

The industry has voiced concern about this technology being expensive and that it would take years for them to install it without affecting operations. Under the earlier plan, thermal power plants were required to start complying with the new standards by December 7, 2017.

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