Government’s directive to use recycled sewage water by power plants will call for an investment of up to Rs 32,000 crore to meet the requirement of 80 GW capacities of state and central utilities.
“The use of sewage water by central and state power generation companies will alone require an investment of up to Rs 32,000 crore depending upon the distance between sewage treatment plant and the power plant,” Vishvaraj Infrastructure Chairman and Managing Director Arun Lakhani said.
Government’s directive will not be legally binding and it depends on state regulators to implement it. But even if central and state generators with aggregate capacity of 80,000 MW follow this directive, they would be requiring supply of 8,000 million litres treated water per day.
In January this year, government unveiled a tariff policy, which provides that thermal power plants including the existing plants located within 50 km radius of sewage treatment plant of municipality/local bodies shall mandatorily use treated sewage water produced by these bodies.
Also, the associated cost on this account should be allowed as a pass through in the tariff.
Lakhani said use of 8,000 million litres of treated water will result in drinking water for 16 crore people every day and help the country deal with prevailing drought-like situation in many states today.
“Our arm Vishvaraj Environment has planned to create a capacity to supply 3,000 litres of treated sewage water to power plants in the next five years, which will require an investment of about Rs 10,000 crore, ” he said.
Recently, NTPC has decided to use sewage water treated by Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s (NMC) sewage treatment plant (STP) at Bhandewadi for its Mouda plant. The plant is operating two 500 MW units using Gosikhurd water.
NMC is building a 200 million litre per day (MLD) capacity STP at Bhandewadi.
“We will be supplying 150 MLD to NTPC Mouda plant while we are looking for buyers for remaining 50 MLD supplies. It is the first PPP plant in the country as all other plants are owned by local bodies or state governments,” he said.
Other industries require additional 20,000 MLD supplies, which is also a big business opportunity for this segment, he added.