The proposed notification by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) will do away with mandatory washing of coal for thermal plants has raised concerns about its consequences for the coal and power sectors. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have 13 thermal power plants.
The Coal Preparation Society of India (CPSI) said on Thursday that the proposed notification is full of “glaring loopholes and is a result of misrepresentation by the Ministry of Coal, Ministry of Power and NITI Aayog”. It alleges that this looks like a desperate bid to prepare the case against washing of coal which is a global practice.
In a memo to the PMO and the MoEFCC, CPSI said that notification withdrawing its own mandate for supply and use of washed coal having ash content of 34 per cent or more for use in power stations located beyond 500 km from coal mines, is a designed campaign to push for the installation of flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) and other pollution control equipment that will impose enormous financial strain to the already struggling power sector in India.
“It is highly surprising that no consultation has been done with concerned stakeholders, neither any inputs sought from the public about the proposed policy changes which shall have severe ramification for the power and coal sectors in India,” said RK Sachdev, President, CPSI, and a former advisor to the coal ministry, in a press release.
Sachdev further added, “Indian coal does not contain any significant percentage of Sulphur which would warrant setting up of FGD equipment involving crores of rupees.