Vedanta TSPL– A Zero Harm, Zero Waste, Zero Discharge Power Producer
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
Sukhwinder Singh,a native of Banawala villagelocated in Mansa district of Punjab,recalls a moment when on a regular day in 2007while walking towards afield, a car slowed down behind him and he heard someone call out to him.
Rolling down the car window the manasked, “Kya Yehi Banawali Gaon Hai”?
Little did Sukhwinder realise then that his life would change for the better forever as he would soon be working in Talwandi Sabo Power Limited(TSPL), Punjab’s largest private sector power plant.The man in the car had come for an early sight inspection for what would become one of the finest power plants in the country.
Banawala is home to TSPL critical thermal power plant and shot into limelight for the first time in 2008 when it was chosen for developing this projectto meet the power needs of the state.
TSPL owes its name to a nearby small town, Talwandi Sabo which is home to Takht Shri Damdama Sahib, one of five holy shrines of Sikhism.
Incorporated as an SPV of erstwhile Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), TSPL was conceived for the purpose of constructing a 1980 (3×660) MW thermal power plant to meet the power requirement of the state of Punjab.
Joining hands with a global giant to serve the state
TSPL’s big moment came when it was acquired by Vedanta Ltd. (erstwhile Sterlite Energy Limited) under its philosophy of working relentlessly towards ‘Desh Ki ZarooratonKeLiye’.Vedanta is the world’s 6th largest diversified natural resources company and the largest in India.
The TSPL power plant currently employs over 1500 people directly or indirectly and has been the biggest driving factor for the development of Banawala village and adjoining areas which comes under economically back Malwa region of Punjab.
The plant is not only catering to Punjab’s power requirement but is also contributing to state’s economy by ensuring continuous power supply to farmers who are now able to use under-ground water for growing cash crops like rice besides supporting MSMEs.
Sikander who is associated with the unit for the past eight years and is currently employed in the TSPL canteen says, “I have been associated with the plant since its inception. I have worked in different capacities at TSPL and, I would like to work here as the company takes good care of me and my family.”
TSPLhas created ripple effect on the local economy with the start of several restaurants and food joints in the area. Some of these joints are now quite popular in the area for their exclusivity owing to the large footfall by the company employees savouring the local cuisine.
Zero Harm, Zero Waste, Zero Discharge
Working on the premise of ‘Zero Harm, Zero Waste, and Zero Discharge’,TSPL has remained committed to environment protection alongside balancing the ecosystem and biodiversity ever since its inception.
Credited as one of the greenest power plants in the country, TSPL is the largest private sector investment in Punjab.
Extremely mindful of the environment and in line with the latest standards and global best practices, the plant operates on a higher cycle efficiency with less Green House Gases (GHG) emission, less water consumption and less auxiliary power consumption vis a vis other thermal power plants in the country.
In the pursuit of its goal of Zero Waste, TSPL has adopted world-class technology to ensure zero harm to the environment. It has boilers equipped with low NOx burners and the separate overfire air (SOFA) system ensures very low NOx emissions.
Additionally, the plant is operating with zero liquid discharge system ensuring total recovery and reuse of treated water. This is further complemented by hybrid Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) with bag filters to limit particulate emissions less than 50 mg/NM3 which is as per the norms stipulated by the competent authorities.
TSPL has been working relentlessly to minimise its carbon footprint and is well ahead in its plan to reduce GHG emissions. Towards this, the company has put its energies into improving environmental standards. It is home to over 30 types of flora and fauna with sprawling 700 acres of green belt coverage which is 33% of the total project area and the largest greenbelt cover in a single location in the state of Punjab.
This greenbelt acts as carbon sink and has shown positive impact on climatic conditions. This is not all, the water in the reservoir and ash pond attract migratory birds.
Also, itset a Guinness World Record in Oct’, 2015 by planting more than 2 lakhs trees at single location in an hour highlighting its commitment to environment conservation.
Taking sustained action to reduce impact on the environment, TSPL has installed state of the art pollution control technologies. It has established an Environment Management System (EMS) to eliminate residual environmental impact besides ensuring zero liquid discharge from the plant by recycling and reusing the water within the plant. This is in addition to the Natural Cooling Towers in the plant for closed re-circulation system reducing water loss.
Fostering local socio-economic development
The only waste generated at TSPL is fly ash. TSPL disposes it through a High Concentration Slurry Disposal (HCSD) system which consumes less water. In order to manage fly ash, it has developed a Green Ash Dyke to control dust in the area with regular sprinkling.
Fly ash has proved to be an excellent alternate source of brick making. Acknowledging this, TSPL introduced an eco-friendly brick making process to brick makers in Punjab, thus fostering local enterprise. This entailed a series of awareness sessions and trainings organized by TSPL to explain to them the advantages of fly ash bricks.
TSPL is leading the way in promoting new fly ash industries in Punjab thereby ensuring 100% utilization of fly ash. It is presently selling fly ash to around 20 cement companies / plants in the vicinity. Apart from this, TSPL, in compliance with the MoEF guidelines, is giving 10% of ash to MSMEs free of cost. In order to promote fly ash brick-making TSPL has also installed a fly ash brick plant within the premises with free fly ash supply for local community members.
These interventions have won TSPL several awards and accolades. In the year 2018-19, TSPL was recognized for its efforts by Punjab Chief Minister , Punjab Pollution Control Board and noteworthy NGOs.
To ensure the well being and prosperity of the region and its people, TSPL has undertaken several social development projects around the plant site contributing towards socio economic development of the area.
Its programmes seek to improve the lives of these communities through multi-pronged interventions including development of community infrastructure, empowering women entrepreneurs, providing safe drinking water, teaching youth vocational skills, improving agricultural yield and many others.
A sustainable agriculture project supported by TSPL has benefitted over 1000 farmers till date and it continues to reach out to other farmers to help them with latest agriculture techniques encouraging them to use less pesticide thereby reducing their input cost and eventually adopting organic farming.
TSPL is working in close coordination with health department of Mansa and has been supporting the Primary Health Centre located in Behniwal village in close vicinity of the plant with medical, paramedical and laboratory test facility. Over 20,000 people have benefitted from the health project in the past three years. Several rural infrastructure projects have been accomplished such as rural school infrastructure development, community park, rural roads etc. to ensure better living standards for the neighboring community.
Hitherto an unknown place, Banawala village, today attracts hordes of people from across the state and nation.
The entire landscape of the region has changed with Banawala being identified with the towering structure of the TSPL thermal plant. Standing tall amidst the fields of Banawali village, the Natural Cooling Towers of TSPL present a regal sight especially at night when the entire plant is lit up.
Just as the seed for a better tomorrow is sown today, responsible and sustainable business practices shall bear the fruits of development and prosperity for future generations to come.
TSPL passionately believes that goodness is the only investment which never fails. This aligns with the larger vision of Vedanta Group’s commitment to give back to society.
TSPL seems well positioned to create a remarkable impact for not just itself, but more importantly,for the communities and region where it operates.