Coal with increased ash content, panel gives go ahead for imports

The union environment ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) has recommended doubling the ash content on imported coal to 25 per cent against 12 per cent currently to help domestic thermal power plants which source the fuel from abroad to run their operations. The recommendation by the EAC comes in the backdrop of recent demand by the coal-fired electricity producers that the environment ministry’s decision in February 2013 to restrain the ash content in imported coal to 12 per cent has triggered problems for the coastal-based projects as they are unable to utilise high grade bituminous steam coal available from Australia, South Africa, Russia, Columbia. Instead, these thermal power plants are forced to use Indonesian coal which is characterised by very low heat value (GCV of 3400-4000 Kcal/Kg) and high moisture content (34-40 per cent) which results in reduced efficiency and increased coal consumption, the Association of Power Producers (APP) had contended in a recent representation to the environment ministry. –

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