According to a letter from the Ministry of Power seen by Reuters, India’s Ministry of Energy has asked the Environment Ministry to extend the two-year period for utilities to install emission cutting equipment.
India originally set a 2017 deadline for thermal power plants to meet emissions standards for the launch of the Flue Gas Desulfurisation (FGD) unit to reduce toxic sulfur dioxide emissions. That was later changed to varying deadlines for different regions, ending in 2022.
Thermal power companies, which generate three-quarters of the country’s electricity, are responsible for around 80 percent of its industrial emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, causing lung disease, acid rain and smog.
Referring to the FGD unit that reduces sulfur dioxide emissions, the Department of Energy said, “The entire planning, bidding and commissioning process for FGD has been severely affected.”
According to the report, a power ministry spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.