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MoEF&CC gives 2-year Extension to Thermal Power Plants on SO2 norms

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Govt gives two-year extension to thermal power plants on SO2 norms

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has extended the deadlines for Thermal Power Plants (TPPs) to install pollution control technologies and comply with new SO2 (Sulphur Dioxide) emission norms.

  • The deadline for the power plants within a 10-km radius of Delhi-NCR (National Capital Region) and cities with a population of more than 10 lakh has been extended from December 31, 2022 to December 31, 2024.
  • For the power plants in a 10-km radius of critically-polluted areas or non-attainment cities, the deadline has been pushed from December 31, 2023 to December 31, 2025.
  • For all other power plants across India, the deadline has been pushed from December 31, 2024 to December 31, 2026.

Key Points:

i.Non-attainment cities are those that have consistently failed to meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has identified 132 such cities.

ii.The power plant units declared to retire before December 31, 2027 will not be required to meet the specified norms for SO2 emissions in case such plants submit an undertaking to the CPCB and the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) for exemption on the ground of retirement.

iii.The environment ministry had revised the emission norms for particulate matter (PM), SO2 and the oxides of nitrogen for TPPs in December 2015, requiring those to install emission control systems by December 2017.

  • This is the third time that the deadlines have been pushed in the last five years.

Points to be noted:

i.The major pollutants from coal-fired power plants are the oxides of nitrogen (NOx), SO2 and particulate matter (PM).

ii.According to the Centre for Science and Environment, the TPPs account for more than 60% of total industrial emissions of particulate matter, 45% of SO2, 30% of NOx and more than 80% of mercury in India.

iii.These plants are also responsible for 70% of the total freshwater withdrawal by all industries.

India’s first geothermal energy project: ONGC to pump Geothermal Power at 14,000 feet in Ladakh

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is all set to generate electrical energy on a utility scale by tapping steam gushing from the earth’s bowels at Puga, a distant valley situated at an altitude of over 14,000 feet, off the street to Chumar, Ladakh on the de-facto border with China.

  • This will be India’s first geothermal energy project, and also the world’s highest.
  • It will boost Ladakh’s potential to emerge as one of India’s clean energy generators.


On February 7, 2021, an agreement for establishing the first geothermal Power Project was announced. Ladakh’s administration, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), and ONGC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for its establishment.

Recent Related News:

i.On 26 July 2022, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) signed a MoU with Greenko ZeroC Private Limited (Greenko) in New Delhi, Delhi to jointly pursue opportunities inrenewables, green hydrogen, green ammonia and other derivatives of green hydrogen.

ii.MoEFCC has made amendments to environmental impact assessment rules, for exempting highway projects related to defence and strategic importance within 100 km of the Line of Control (LOC) or border from the requirement of environmental clearance.

About Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC):

Establishment– 1956
CMD– Rajesh Kumar Srivastava (Additional Charge)
Headquarters– New Delhi, Delhi