NTPC Current Affairs - 2020

Hydrogen Fuel Bus and car launched by NTPC

The National Thermal Power Corporation recently launched ten Hydrogen Fuel Cell based buses and 10 similar electric cars.

Highlights

The buses and cars were launched in New Delhi and Leh. Similar proposal is under implementation in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Other initiatives of NTPC

NTPC has been taking several such initiatives to provide e-mobility solution for public transport. This includes providing charging infrastructure and electric bus to state and city transport systems.

NTPC has so far commissioned 90 public charging stations in and around the city of Faridabad.

Why electric buses?

The initiative undertaken by NTPC to procure hydrogen fueled buses is to decarbonize transport system in the country.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell use chemical process to convert hydrogen rich fuel into electricity. The main advantage of fuel cells is that they need not be charged frequently. They produce electricity as long as the fuel is available

In a Hydrogen Fuel cell, the hydrogen is passed through the anode, oxygen is passed through cathode. At anode, the hydrogen molecules are split into protons and electrons. The protons hence formed pass through electrolyte membrane. This forces electron to pass into the circuit, generating electric current.

Benefits

The major benefits of hydrogen fuel cells include high efficiency, low to zero emissions, fuel flexibility, quiet operation, durability and energy security.

“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).