NTPC Limited has developed an infrastructure at Rihand project in Uttar Pradesh to transport fly ash in bulk to cement plants at a lower cost, located at a distance. The development is in line with NTPC's commitment towards 100 per cent utilization of fly ash from power plants, an official statement said.

“The first rake of 59 BOXN type of railway wagons carrying 3,450 Metric Tonne (MT) of fly ash was flagged off from NTPC’s Rihand Super Thermal Power station for ACC Cement Manufacturing Plant, Tikaria, Uttar Pradesh located 458 kilometres away,” the statement said.

“To transfer the first tranche, officials from NTPC Rihand approached East Central Railway along with leading cement producers to commence the supply of fly ash in BOXN wagons covered with tarpaulin. The innovation will pave the way for efficient and safer transportation of fly ash from the power plants to cement production units located at a distance in larger quantity,” the statement added.

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This is a significant development for the transportation of fly ash from a remote location to a consumption centre, enabling power plants for upgrading the utilization of fly ash. It is possible with the availability of additional material loading avenues for Indian Railways and accessibility of fly ash to the cement plants in an environment-friendly manner at a competitive price.

During the financial year 2019-2020, almost 44.33 million tonnes of fly ash was utilized for various productive purposes, being 73.31 per cent of the ash generated, the statement said.

NTPC is also looking at new avenues of fly ash management like fly ash based geo-polymer road, use of bottom ash as replacement of fine aggregate (sand) in cement concrete. In addition to these, NTPC has plans to set up a fly ash classifier unit for export purposes.