India being one of the fastest growing nations in the world also means that energy requirements are going to increase exponentially in the coming years. In such a case, the responsibility to meet energy needs lies on the shoulders of the state-owned NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation). India is still dependent on coal as its main source of energy, which also accounts for 60 percent of total energy generated. Burning of coal, however, emits harmful gases into the environment such as sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide.
What’s the deal actually?
With the air pollution problems getting worse, it is likely that government will tighten regulations on especially sulphur di-oxide emissions. In the wake of these events, NTPC has decided to take help of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), which in-turn will provide it the technology to desulfurize the emissions on licence basis.
The contract will be in effect from 3rd April this year. MHI will take charge of engineering, procurement as well as construction phases while implementing the technology. It will be using two different ways of desulfurization, which include the use of limestone or seawater.
The process involves the use of a liquid tower, which is sprayed with limestone slurry. Limestone reacts with sulphur dioxide and absorbs most of the gas in the chamber. Other techniques are used in tandem to increase the contact surface of limestone.
How will it make a difference?
This is the first time a Japanese company will provide technology for desulfurization to an Indian based company. Coal India recently provided 107.5 million tonnes of coal to NTPC, which also includes imported coal. This is about 16 percent higher than last year’s supply. We hope that this MHI-NTPC partnership will provide a cleaner energy source to India in coming years, while we do need to reduce our dependency on coal in coming years.