India to have its first coal-fired AUSC plant by 2017

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Lalitha Vaidyanathan

Kalpakkam (TN), Jan 24 (PTI) India''s first 800 MWcoal-fired Advanced Ultra Supercritical (AUSC) power plantwill be operational by 2017 which will help reduce operationalcosts and emit less carbon dioxide than existing similarunits.

The AUSC will have five per cent more efficiency thanthe existing thermal plants and help in 12 per cent savings incoal thus reducing the overall amount of carbon dioxideemission, Dr S C Chetal, Director, Reactor Engineering Groupof IGCAR and a distinguished scientist told PTI.

A joint effort of Indira Gandhi Centre for AtomicResearch (IGCAR), Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) andNational Thermal Power Corporation(NTPC), the Advanced UltraSupercritical power plant will be the first such indigenousplant, he said.

"At present there is no AUSC plant operating in theworld and we will back the first indigenous AUSC with strong Rand D with IGCAR''s expertise in design, materials andmanufacturing technologies of the fast breeder reactor,"Chetal said.

Presentation of the project has already been made toPrime Minister Manmohan Singh and "we are waiting for theapproval for R and D funds which is expected to come soon," hesaid.

Of the total cost of Rs 7000 crore of the project, Rs2,500 crore will be spent on research and development andpublic sector units, sources said.

IGCAR, BHEL and NTPC signed an MoU for AUSC system inAugust last year.

The advanced ultra super-critical boilers, to bedesigned and developed by IGCAR, will be able to operate at apressure of 300 kg per sq cm and 700 degree centigradetemperature, Chetal said.

This kind of very high temperature and pressure willimprove the steam cycle efficiency, which in turn means thatfor a given electrical output there will be less consumptionof fuel (coal) and less release of carbon dioxide, he said.

After developing this technology, India will be oneof the leaders in the world in terms of thermal power planttechnologies, the scientist said.

"Once we are able to built and operate the AUSC, itis possible to decrease the cost of the coal firedsupercritical thermal plants in the country," he said.MORE PTILV SKU

The existing supercritical plants use imported technology. A large number of operating plants in the country(BHEL-NTPC) are of subcritical type running at 170 kg per sqcm pressure and 540 degree celsius.

Recently, India has introduced supercritical thermalplants -- of 660 MW and 800 MW running at 565 degree Celsiusin the mainstream line and with a supercritical pressure of250 kg per sq cm.

India is planning to have 58 units based onsupercritical plants from the 12th five year plan onwards.

But these plants are being built under foreign collaborationwith large import content.

"Therefore, taking the step of building one AUSCplant and establishing in the country, it will be possible toreduce the foreign import content and thus reduce the cost ofthe plants," Chetal said.

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