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India — Technical Assistance for Environmental Management

Key Objectives:

To provide assistance for institutional strengthening of the technical and social environmental capabilities of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in India.

Completed in 1994

The Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership’s (GSEP) initiative to provide technical assistance to the National Thermal Power Coporation (NTPC) of India was undertaken in cooperation with the World Bank, while following the GSEP’s objectives of protecting the global environment and promoting the efficient generation and use of electricity.

The program was divided into the following 10 fields of expertise, in three main areas:

  • Global pollution
    • Water pollution
    • Air pollution
    • Environmental monitoring and data management
    • Ash utilization and waste reduction
  • Resource optimization
    • Renewable energies
    • Training/human resources development
    • Resettlement and rehabilitation
  • Better availability and operational control
    • Plant energy efficiency
    • Design and operation standards and safety
    • Organisation of an environmental laboratory

Through these fields of expertise, GSEP experts offered the NTPC technical assistance on 28 environmental issues. A team of experts fromeight member companies worked together with colleagues at the NTPC to fulfill the objectives of the initiative. Expertise was provided between January 1993 and July 1996.

GSEP member companies focused on strengthening the environmental and social capabilities of the NTPC in order to respect both the objectives set by the Government of India for the power sector, as well as those developed in NTPC’s own Environmental Action Plan. The support contributed to improve the following:

  • thermal power plant availability through discussions with NTPC experts on the use of appropriate design parameters for component specifications;
  • plant efficiency (upgrading, combined cycles, etc.) through standardised maintenance norms and efficiency and performance tests;
  • chemical products control in power stations and the surrounding environment, by providing advice to the NTPC staff concerning chemical laboratory organisation;
  • environmental controls (ambient air quality, air emissions, water discharge, etc.) through the use of specific models, monitoring equipment, data management applicable software, and the appropriate treatment processes;
  • people’s knowledge through training in the areas of several environmental disciplines (environmental impact assessment, resettlement and rehabilitation, waste utilisation and reduction, etc.);
  • NTPC experts’ capability to design appropriate environmental impact assessments and public participation programs for the power stations in various environmental domains.

During the meetings and workshops, the NTPC technicians confirmed their deep interest in not only the technology sharing and environmental controls (models, software, technology, training), but also in the particular way the GSEP provided its assistance. For each issue addressed, the GSEP provided a more comprehensive technology and knowledge than a single company or consultant could have, due to the uniqueness of the collective and integrated experience of the member companies.

Feedback and observed results confirm the fruition of the involvement with the NTPC in influencing their choices, thus increasing their success in protecting our global environment and improving their generation and use of electricity.

This project has been the object of several published papers:

  • 2nd International Conference on Displacement and Resettlement, “Monitoring the Standard of Living of Displaced Households: A Suggestion in a Rural Indian Context”, Milewski, J., Christchurch, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, Sept. 9-13.
  • 2nd International Conference on Displacement and Resettlement, “Socio-Economic Monitoring of involuntary resettlement: a selection of indicators in a rural Indian context” Agrawal, D., Egré, D., Milewski, J., Christchurch, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, Sept. 9-13


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