In view of the water scarcity being faced by the power plants in the country, the Power Ministry is preparing a national roadmap for setting up water reprocessing facilities, which could marginally increasepower tariff.

Power plants, especially those located in the hinterland, use huge volumes of fresh water for various applications. Due to drought in States such as Maharashtra, the power companies have been forced to shut down their plants.

On Friday, Power Minister Piyush Goyal said that plants could use treated water from sewage plants and the additional cost incurred by the plants could be reimbursed or factored into the tariffs.

NTPC is already in talks with Nagpur Municipal Corporation for using treated water from a sewage treatment plants for its upcoming Mouda power plant. In effect, use of treated water will increase the operational cost of power plants, which could lead to a rise in tariff and put pressure on consumers.

New technologies The power plants require water for a critical plant operation – condenser cooling. But, today, technologies are available in which water is replaced with condenser cooling systems based on air. Goyal pointed out that power companies will have to take a call if they want to install air-cooled condensers. “Such technologies have cost implications. Should the situation arise in the future, we will rethink this issue and will take a call on that,” he said.

Vice-Chairman of Enexio India Ramesh Kumar told BusinessLine that given the emerging water scarcity, air-cooled systems would be used in larger numbers. It is the technology of the future.