With India targeting to install 15,000 MW every year, coal handling systems will also need to be enhanced as it is one of the most important functions in thermal power plant operation, Jitendra Kumar gives an insight and technical know-how about the coal handling process in the country.Growth of power sector is the key to the economic development of a country and if India has achieve a double-digit economic growth there will be enormous energy requirement. As per the projections of Integrated Energy Policy, about 15,000 MW of thermal capacity has to be added every year over the next two decades. This requires installation of large number of coal- and gas-based plants for sure. To achieve the faster capacity addition targets, large capacity plants including 4,000 MW Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP) using 660 to 800 MW supercritical units is the only way forward. To achieve the targets, land and water will be the key requirements. Obviously, non-conventional energy sources such as solar, wind and other alternatives could be a complementary and would hardly contribute in a major way to achieve the goal of 15,000 MW every year. Therefore, thermal with UMPP can be projected as key future plants for power sector.Land, coal and water are the essential requirements for setting up any coal-based thermal power plant. Land is mainly required for main plant, ash dyke, township, coal handling plant, etc. Coal is also very important for feasibility of any project. Blended coal – either mixing of 70:30 or 50:50 of Indian to imported coal – is the available option because of following facts and figures.If we see the statistics of coal demand and availability position during the year 2011-12 and projection by 2020 in the Table I, we can assess that coal demand is likely to be almost doubled by 2020 and so the scope for coal handling will increase.Coal handling plant is the lifeline of coal-fired power plant or dining table for thermal power plant. From here, our thought process starts, ie,
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