A central green panel has allowed Hindalco Industries (HIL) to blend petcoke with coal, up to 70 per cent, for power generation at its Hirakud plant in Odisha.
The panel has approved necessary amendment to this effect in the environment clearance (EC) certificate given to HIL’s Hirakud project for operating 216 kilo tonnes per annum (KTPA) smelter plant and 467 MW of captive power plant.
The aluminium major’s proposal was taken up for discussion in the recent meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment.
“Based on the presentation made and discussions held, the committee recommended the amendment in the EC for use of petcoke in CFBC (Circulating Fluidised Bed Combustion) boiler with some conditions,” a senior ministry official said.
EAC has asked the company not to use petcoke beyond 70 per cent, use of limestone should not be less than 70 per cent, and also carryout a study on use of petcoke in captive power plant in different proportions through a premiere institution and submit the report to the ministry, he said.
After de-allocation of Talabira-I coal block, the company is heavily dependent on e-auction for supply of coal. Hindalco has been allocated coal mines at Chhattisgarh, which is far away from Hirakud, resulting in increase in the landed cost of coal to its unit.
The company wants to use petcoke and lime in blend with coal in CFBC boilers as the landed cost of the coal to the unit is much higher as compared to the landed cost of pet coke available through imports and/or from the nearby refineries.
The company said its Hirakud CFBC boilers are technically suitable to feed pet coke, agro-waste and other biomass as a fuel along with coal in different ratio.