NTPC Ltd is in talks with Toshiba Corp to build a pilot project in India to capture and store carbon emissions, a Toshiba official said. The Japanese power-equipment maker aims to develop its first 5-Mw carbon capture plant in India by 2016, Toshiba India Private Ltd Managing Director, Kenji Urai, said.
The project may be similar to the one set to start this year at a 47-Mw plant at Mikawa, Japan. “Now that we are almost finished in Japan, we’d like to bring that technology to other parts of the world, like India,” Urai said. “I think in five years we should have it.”
India plans to add about 64,000 Mw, or the equivalent of more than 50 new nuclear plants, in coal-fired electric plants in the five years through 2017. The country is seeking ways to reduce carbondioxide emissions, after agreeing to reduce the greenhouse gas in proportion to gross domestic product by 25 percent, compared to levels in 2005, by 2020.
NTPC is leading a group of power utilities trying to curb blackouts in the country and increase electricity supplies, which the government estimates are about 10 per cent less than demand. NTPC officials declined to comment.
Carbon capture-and-storage technology typically traps emissions and pumps these underground, for what its promoters say is safe, permanent storage. So far, it has mostly been used in pilot projects and for storing only a portion of total plant emissions. Critics say the cost is too high for its benefits. “It’s certainly not economically feasible because if we fit CCS equipment to a coal-based plant, it would double the investment,” said Shyam Saran at a seminar in April. Saran had resigned from his post as special envoy to the prime minister on climate change in February.
Toshiba, Japan’s largest supplier of nuclear reactors, entered the Indian power market through a joint venture with Indian power utility JSW Energy Ltd. Toshiba plans to sell $400 million of power-generation equipment in India by 2015. Through two joint ventures, Toshiba and JSW will open a plant in Chennai in July, to produce 3,000 Mw of boilers and turbines a year, Urai said.
The joint venture is expecting orders from NTPC for four 660-Mw turbines this year and has already received orders for two 660-Mw turbines and generators from the Essar Group for its coal-fired Salaya plant in Gujarat.
The International Energy Agency supports carbon capture as a measure to limit greenhouse gases.
Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka had, in December, said the world needs about 3,400 projects by 2050 to reduce emissions.