NTPC Current Affairs - 2020

“APNA UREA-SonaUgle” brand of HURL launched-To increase Urea Production

The APNA UREA-SonaUgle brand of HURL (Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Limited) was launched by the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri D V Sadananda Gowda.

Recent developments in Urea Production

In order to make India self-sufficient in Urea, the Union Government approved revival of three Urea plants located in Sindri, Gorakhpur and Barauni. The other two major fertilizer plants at Talcher and Ramagundam are also to be reopened. With these measures GoI projects that the annual production of Urea is to increase by 63.5 lakh metric tonnes per annum.

What is HURL?

HURL is a joint venture of Indian Maharatna companies namely IOCL (Indian Oil Corporation Limited), NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) and Coal India Limited. The objective of HURL is to make India self-reliant in Urea. The following are the targets set for HURL

  • Revival of three Urea plants by 2021
  • Increase neem coated urea production capacity to 38.1 lakh metric tonnes per annum
  • To start operations of energy efficient and environment friendly natural gas-based fertilizer plants by 2021. The feedstock (Natural Gas) is to be supplied by GAIL.

Current Scenario of Urea Production

According to National Urea Policy 2015, there are totally 31 Urea producing plants in India. Out of these, 28 units Natural Gas as feedstock. The rest of the units use Naphtha as feedstock.

Concerns

The production of urea is water consuming process. The current annual water consumption of urea manufacturing plants as of June 2019 is 191 million cubic metres. Some of the urea plants in India are yet to abide the 2003 Corporate Responsibility for Environment Protection Guidelines, 2003 that was issued by CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board).

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NTPC to invest Rs. 50,000 cr to add 10GW Solar Energy Capacity by 2022

State-owned power giant NTPC Ltd. is planning to add 10 GW (gigawatt) of solar energy generation capacity by 2022. The project would entail an investment of around Rs.50,000 crore which will be funded mainly by green bonds. NTPC’s plans to add 10GW solar energy capacity assumes significance in view of country’s ambitious target of having 175GW of clean energy by 2022.

Key Highlights

For borrowing option, the company would mainly rely on Green Bonds which are offered for pure clean energy projects. It wants to raise money through domestic as well as overseas green bonds.

Currently, NTPC has installed renewable energy capacity of 920 MW (Megawatt), which includes mainly solar energy. It has also formulated a long-term plan to become a 130GW company by 2032 with 30% non-fossil fuel or renewable energy capacity. NTPC will be completing tendering of 2,300 MW of solar energy capacity by end of this fiscal year (2019-2020), and thereafter it has planned to add 4GW each in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Way Forward

As NTPC intends to sell electricity to industrial and commercial consumers as well as at energy exchanges, it will be setting up solar energy projects without any long-term (for 25 years) power purchase agreements (PPA). Central Electricity Regulatory Authority (CERC), the power sector regulator has already approved real-time power market, which is expected to kick in by 1 April 2020.

NTPC would also set up some of its solar energy projects under scheme where it gets viability gap funding (VGF) to keep the tariff below Rs.3/unit level.

About NTPC Limited

It was formerly known as National Thermal Power Corporation Limited. It is an Indian Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), engaged in business of electricity generation and allied activities. It was founded in 1975 and was incorporated under Companies Act 1956.

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