Power plants using washed coal may get faster green clearance
The move, which will benefit power projects of more than 100 MW, comes in the wake of the recent nationwide power outages for which the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) was also blamed, given its failure to give timely green clearances for projects. Although the immediate reason for the recent collapse of power grids could be reckless overdrawal of power by states, what lies beneath the flouting of grid code is a widening demand-supply gap for power.
In a bid to speed up the clearance process, the MoEF recently agreed that thermal power projects, with firm coal-linkage indicating the quality of coal and basket of mines of Coal India/Singareni Collieries Company, will be considered for early environmental clearance.
“It is essential to have detailed information regarding quality of coal to assess the environmental impacts of a thermal power project. The various important parameters of coal quality include calorific value, sulphur content and ash content,” said a ministry notification. In fact, the ministries of power and environment, at a recent meeting with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), had concurred that to speed up processing of environmental clearance, MoEF should process applications if the quality of coal is specified.
At present, decisions on projects are taken within 105 days of the receipt of complete information, as provided for
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