The public sector NTPC Limited (formerly, National Thermal Power Corporation), which has invited ideas for ‘Ash Utilization’ from individuals and institutions through a contest, evoked interest from Damodar Valley Corp, Tata Power and Berger Paints too.
In order to achieve 100 per cent ash utilisation on a sustainable basis at its coal based stations, NTPC has announced Rs 12 lakh in cash prizes for the winners.
Of the 713 ideas received, the largest power producer, has shortlisted 20 entries - five from corporate houses, one each from a startup and institute, four scientists and researchers, and nine individuals. Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology and BASF India are among the prominent names to have participated in the contest.
Of the shortlisted ideas, five will be selected - The winner of the contest will receive a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh. The second and third prizes are Rs.3 lakh and Rs.2 lakh respectively. There will be two consolation prizes of Rs one lakh each.
The company which produces about 50 million tonnes of fly ash a year at its plants, has achieved 57.3 per cent of utilisation rate as of now. Fly ash is one of the residuals generated in combustion of coal. As per the rules specified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, coal and lignite power stations must utilise 100 per cent of the ash produced within 15 years of their commissioning. Most companies have failed to meet this requirement. About 45 per cent of the power produced in the country uses coal as feedstock.
Recently, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) directed all state pollution control boards and pollution control committees to implement the notification on fly-ash utilisation from coal- and lignite-based thermal power plants by December 31.