With demand for fly ash coming down from cement and brick manufacturing units, power plants have requested the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change not to impose financial penalties if they are unable to utilise all the fly ash produced from power generation.
Thermal plants are supposed to utilise 100% of fly ash from the fourth year of operation. Over 25% of fly ash produced from power plants is used by the cement industry. Bricks and tile makers consume about 10% and another 10% is utilised for making roads and flyovers. More than 5% of the fly ash is used for the reclamation of low lying areas.
“From March 2020 onwards, the demand for fly ash from cement plants, brick manufacturing units and road construction agencies had come to a complete stop during the lockdown period,” the Association of Power Producers said in a letter to the environment ministry. “While demand was showing some signs of recovery in the intervening period, it crashed again during the second wave of the pandemic and its related lockdown/curfew measures imposed across the country,” the letter, reviewed by FE, added.
The 101 power plants monitored in FY20 generated 226 million tonnes of fly ash in the fiscal, of which, 83% could be utilised. Of these, 47 plants had achieved 100% utilisation while the utilisation of another 14 units ranged between 90% and 100%. “The requirement of 100% fly ash utilisation may be waived for FY21 and FY22 and no financial penalties should be imposed on thermal power plants during this period,” APP requested.