Satyanarayana Digamathi, Deputy General Manager, Wadi Cement Works
Located in Karnataka, the Wadi plant of ACC Ltd is running one of the world´s largest kilns. The state is deficit in power and there is heavy dependence on captive power plant at Wadi Works. Satyanarayana Digamathi, who is presently in charge of the CPP operations, discusses the challenges he is facing. Excerpts from the interview with ICR:
What is the total capacity of CCP at Wadi plant? How much of power is being given to cement works?
We have a total capacity of 125 MW installed at Wadi. We generally supply about 60 MW to the manufacturing plant.
As announced by the present Government, the linkage coal will not be available from 2016 onwards. How will you face this situation?
We have made elaborate plans to tide over the situation. We have taken trials to use pet coke as a fuel for CPP. We can source it locally or we have a choice to import the same. By using pet coke, we can somewhat control the cost. Based on the trials we have taken, safely about 20 per cent of pet coke can be used in the fuel. In fact, we can still go for higher percentage of pet coke but the limiting factor is SOx and NOx generation. Therefore we would like to restrict to 20 per cent. The other option is to use agri waste as and when it is available. In our region getting rice husk is not a difficult task. There is no certainty of the quantum. Our plans will be to control the fuel cost of power generation, once the de-linkage of coal happens.
Can you throw some light on the cost of power generated at present and after de-linkage?
In the operation of CPP, the major cost contributor for the power is fuel. Roughly around 65-70 per cent of operational cost is incurred on fuel. Our conservative estimate indicates that the cost of power we generate today is around Rs 4.20 per unit. This is purely based on use of one 100 per cent linkage coal. Now if linkage coal is not available then certainly the cost of power will go up. Even after considering that 20 per cent of fuel is going to be replaced with a cheaper fuel like pet coke or some use of agri waste will take us to Rs 5.50 on the lower side. In fact it may go slightly higher if the cost of input fuel varies on the higher side. It is a major challenge for us to keep the cost of power generation low once de-linkage happens.
What kind of technological upgradations you are planning?
As you are aware that power generation is an industry which creates very high level of pollutions. Day-by-day the pollution control norms are getting tight and there are very little margins available to the industry. We are no exception to that. Under the circumstances, we have planned to invest money in improving boiler efficiency and have equipment that will generate less of SOx and NOx. At the same time our efforts will be to improve efficiency in power generation. We may go for the burners which can use multiple fuels.