Industry body FICCI has sought the Prime Minister's Office intervention in the immediate extension of deadline for installation of emission control equipment at captive power plants.
The deadline for installing flue-gas desulfurization (FGD) or emissions control equipment at captive power plants (CPP) to meet environment norms was June 30, 2020.
In a letter to Principal Advisor, PMO, P K Sinha, FICCI has demanded that a panel including ministries of power and environment be set up to review timelines for installation of FGD at power plants.
"A committee may kindly be constituted by Government of India, comprising Ministry of Power and Ministry of Environment (MOEFCC), to review the timelines for FGD implementation, via assessment of the requirements and prevailing bottlenecks," the letter said.
The power regulator CERC may be directed to issue provisional tari? for power plants implementing FGDs and where commission has approved change in law under the long term PPAs (power purchase agreement), it pleaded.
A mechanism for cost recovery may be implemented for power plants selling power in power exchange or under short term contracts through bidding under DEEP (Discovery of Efficient Electricity Price) along with extension in time for installation of FGD, it suggested.
An immediate time extension may be granted for installation and commissioning of FGDs by CPP, who may be exempted against any adverse action for non-compliance of the new emission norms in view of the 30th June 2020 deadline, it demanded.
Thermal power plants are required to meet new emission standards for sulphur dioxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx).
The deadline to meet these norms is different for different power plants but all plants are supposed to comply with rules by December 2022.
About 30 months are required to achieve commissioning of FGD after having regulatory and financing clarity, it stated
The data compiled by Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for all power plants, Central, State and Independent Power Producers (IPPs) show that most of the plants would not be able to meet the deadline despite advance eforts having been taken by many, if not most of them, it submitted.
FICCI is of the view that the FGD sourcing and supply capacity becomes a critical issue.
"As you would be aware, major suppliers of FGD equipment are from outside India...the Ministry of Power order requiring prior approval of import of equipment from certain countries, presents an opportunity to manufacture in India and contribute to the 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' objective and also create additional jobs which in the current scenario is welcome.
"However, as a result, it would take time for Indian manufacturers to ramp up capacity, as well as for IPPs and CPPs to redo the process of tendering and supplier ?nalisation."
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Power made prior approval mandatory for import of certain power equipment from China and Pakistan.
Power Minister R K Singh had also clearly said that power equipment imports from China will not be permitted.
The minister had said last week in a press conference that the deadline for installing FGD was already extended.
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had on December 7, 2015, brought out new norms for coal-based power stations to cut down emissions of particulate matter (PM10), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) to improve the air quality around power plants.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had previously set December 2017 as the deadline for meeting the emission standards but extended it by two years as the country adopted a phased approach for thermal power plants to comply with emission norms, which involve installing FGD units that cut emissions of sulfur dioxides.