NTPC beta-tests ultra-supercritical tech at Madhya Pradesh power plant

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on June 28, 2019 Published on June 28, 2019

NTPC engineers have commenced beta testing a 660 MW-unit based on ultra-supercritical technology at the Khargone plant in Madhya Pradesh. It is the first unit in the country to run on such technology, according to the company.

The ultra-supercritical technology burns coal more efficiently than the existing sub-critical technology.

Across India, most power plants are based on sub-critical technology, which has a 38 per cent thermal efficiency. In the ultra-supercritical plant, this efficiency reaches 44 per cent.

Consequently, lesser coal is used, leading to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. A 1 per cent increase in efficiency over the life of a plant reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 2.4 million tonnes, experts have said.

Scaling up

An NTPC official said that in the first phase, light diesel oil (LDO) is burnt in the boilers, which helps power output reach 30 MW.

Over time, as the plant operations get stabilised, the power output will be scaled up and LDO will be replaced with thermal coal. The unit will be fully functional in about a month, following which commercial operations will begin.

The second unit at the Khargone plant, again based on ultra-supercritical technology, is still under construction. Once both units are functional, the plant will produce 1,320 MW.

Coal for the plant will be hauled from the company’s mine at Pakri Barwadih in Jharkhand.

Engineering giant Larsen & Toubro had secured the turnkey order from NTPC for setting up the plant on an EPC basis. The total project cost is about ₹10,000 crore.

Published on June 28, 2019
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