Fly ash residue turns revenue source for RTPS

Fly ash residue turns revenue source for RTPS

Liability no more

Lorries belonging to factories making cement, bricks, tiles and stone slabs for the pavements line up to lift fly ash from the Raichur Thermal Power Station. dh photo

Fly ash produced at the Raichur Thermal Power Station (RTPS) is no longer a headache for the plant, a change for the good from two decades ago.

There is great demand for the fly ash from factrories making cement, bricks, tiles and stone slabs for the pavements, competing to lift the product. In some cases, it is used for construction of roads.

Hundreds of lorries belonging to these factories are lined up in front of the RTPS premises, waiting to transport the fly ash to the factories.

The Raichur Thermal Power Station has permitted as many as 93 companies to buy the fly ash. Each factory is allotted 100 to 200 tonnes of the coal byproduct. The fly ash is auctioned once in three years.

Quota increase

Some companies even want the allotted quota increased. But the power station officials don’t seem to be in favour of doing so.

A new list of 25 companies has been prepared and the process to permit them to lift the fly ash is on. An additional 65 firms have applied for the fly ash.

“Lobbying is done through local officials and politicians and even those in Bengaluru for being allotted the fly ash. Permission is given to lift the fly ash only if the companies give the complete details of the purpose that it is used for.

This is done as there have been instances of the fly ash that is lifted being sold to others,” say RTPS officials.

Fly ash has now become a source of revenue for the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited, which runs RTPS. The coal byproduct is, however, given for free of cost, to the small industries. A total of 35 tonnes of fly ash is produced on burning 100 tonnes of coal. Of this, a total of 25 tonnes is in dry form and the rest is collected in small ponds for later processing.

Of the dry fly ash, 80% is taken up by cement industries, while the rest is allotted to small industries. Power plants have to release monthly reports on the steps taken for the disposal of the fly ash as per the direction of the Central Pollution Control Board.