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 Home > City Resources > Real Estate > Cement

 In Conversation: State Energy Minister Patil 

The Maharashtra Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Kingdom-based Ms Dirk European Holdings Company for production of an alternative and cheaper cement product ``Pozzocrete'' from waste coal ash generated by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) thermal power plant at Nashik.

The MoU was signed between State Minister for Energy Dr Padmasinh Patil and Dirk European Holdings' Chief Executive Officer George Dirk on October 4, 2000, in Mumbai. The company is investing Rs 14 crore in this project, which will be fully automated and will adhere to stringent quality control measures.

The operation will take off within two months and the project will go commercially operational by October 2001. "In the state, MSEB's thermal power plants use around 70,000 tonnes of coal for power generation daily, out of which waste of around 21,000 tonnes of coal ash is produced. MSEB has been experiencing difficulties in the disposal of this waste coal ash. The daily intake of coal of this 910 megawatt thermal power plant is 10,000 tonnes and waste of 3,500 tonnes of coal ash is generated from it. Generally the cost of transporting the coal ash is fixed at around Rs 35 per tonne. This company (Dirk European Holdings) will, annually, utilise 1000 tonnes of coal ash for manufacturing "pozzocrete'' and gradually increase its capacity over the years. This new cement based product which readily mixes with cement, is expected to cover nearly 35 percent of the demand for cement. The advantages of ``pozzocrete'' is that the life span of the concrete mixture of this cement product is long, cracks do not develop in the concrete mixture, and it does not blacken like cement concrete,'' claimed Patil.

Patil further told that Dirk European Holdings has been allocated a site in the close vicinity of the thermal power plant. The company has agreed to pay MSEB a rate of around Rs 30 per tonne of coal ash consumed by the manufacturing plant. "Annually, MSEB will earn a revenue of around Rs 90 lakh, which would further increase over the years as the capacity of the Dirk European Holdings' plant increases,'' said Patil.

By: Mani D'Mello

Photographs: Vinayak Prabhu


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