India is making major headway in its ambition to have indigenously developed Advanced Ultra Super Critical (AUSC) Technology. According to available information the Project Design Memorandum (PSM) for an 800 MW pilot project has already been submitted to the Principal Scientific Adviser and it may become a reality within seven year period from the date of financial sanction by the government.

The project is being undertaken by NTPC, BHEL and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), who had signed an MoU in August 2010. The project is expected to come up at NTPC`s Dadri complex in Uttar Pradesh. The project is planned to be developed in two phases, of which phase-I is the Research & Development (R&D) phase and is expected to cost Rs 1,554 crore. Of this, Rs 1,100 crore is proposed to be funded by the government.

In an interesting related development, the Planning Commission has suggested that policy directives like recourse to denying licenses to sub-critical/ less efficient plants may be needed to promote AUSC. However, NTPC is not in agreement with this and is of the opinion that sub-critical and conventional supercritical technology need to continue in parallel till AUSC technology gains maturity and becomes a techno-economically viable option for deployment.

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