Environment Management & Pollution Control

Company’s Environment Policy

Following the guidelines provided by the National Environment Policy and keeping with the objectives of meeting ever increasing demand of power, CESC have framed a comprehensive Environment Policy.

We believe that our commitment towards the well-being of the living, preservation of the non-living and protection of the environment in which we operate , is an integral part of the power generation process . We recognize our obligation both locally and globally and to the present and future generations and shall adopt best possible practices of environmental management for maintaining the ecological balance.

Thermal power plants are categorized as one of the grossly polluting industries anywhere in the world. Thus our responsibility towards environment is enormous and therefore to prosper in our business by protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development we have set our goals and to meet the goals time bound actions are taken.

Our Goals include not only ensuring compliances with all applicable statutes but also achieving internal standards which are more stringent than the statutes The existing processes are improved upon and new processes are devised . Techno-economically viable state of the art technologies are also adopted to achieve the in house standards. Environmental performances and its impact on environment are monitored and wherever needed the environment management systems are revised through self-assessment and corrective actions.

Charter Of Corporate Responsibility for Environment Protection(CREP)

As CESC is totally committed to go beyond compliance by voluntarily adopting clean technologies , it endorses the action points of the Charter formulated for Thermal Power Plants. Our generating Stations follow the guidelines and achieve the targets set by the Charter.

Environment Management Activities

The environment management activities at our Generating Stations include

Stack Emission Control

Our constant endeavour has been to contain the particulate emission from our pulverized fuel fired Generating Stations not only within the stipulated norms but to achieve the internal targets set well below the statutory limits. Stack emission is monitored continuously and data is transmitted real time to statutory authorities, to station management and to corporate headquarters.

A major success story in emission control relates to one of our older Generating Stations, namely New Cossipore Generating Station, which was in operation till 2014. The station had very rudimentary emission control facilities for its stoker fired boilers since its time of inception in 1949, when almost no environmental norms were in place.

However, within a span of three years from January 2003, the boilers were retrofitted with state-of-the-art emission control equipment (Wet ESP) and since early 2006 the particulate matter emission levels of New Cossipore were within the then prevailing statute.

Flue Stacks

At our pulverized fuel fired Generating Stations, tall stacks are provided for effective dispersion of particulates and other gases emitted due to combustion of coal.

The twin flue stack for Unit no.1 and 2 at Budge Budge Generating Station is 275 metres high, while the stack for Unit No. 3 is 220 metres high.

Electrostatic Precipitators

Primarily, particulate emission from the boilers is controlled by high efficiency Electrostatic Precipitators.

Wet Electrostatic Precipitators

As briefly mentioned above, at New Cossipore Generating Station having stoker fired boilers, we had retrofitted Wet Electrostatic Precipitators (Wet ESP) to the boilers to contain the particulate emission. After extensive search in India and abroad since 2001 to work out a technical solution for retrofitting of emission control equipments as could be possible with severe space constraint besides the difficulty in matching with very old boiler technology, the workable option was installation of Wet ESPs on the roof of the boiler house. This technology was imported from USA and the equipment was manufactured indigenously under in-house supervision.

A pilot demonstration of a Wet ESP plant brought in from USA was made and found successful. The Wet ESPs had the facilities of water fogging followed by electrostatic separation within the same equipment. Incidentally, installing Wet ESPs is a pioneering project, and no other power plants in the country can boast of such an equipment.

Flue Gas Conditioning

Particulate emission at all our pulverized fuel (p.f) fired Generating Stations are further reduced through flue gas conditioning by means of controlled ammonia dosing in the flue path prior to electrostatic precipitation. These automated systems are developed in-house and adopted after extensive experiments.

Low-NOx Burners

At our Budge Budge Generating Station Low-NOx burners are provided to control NOx emission. NOx emission is also reduced by adopting measures for efficient combustion of fuel at all our Generating Stations.

On Line Emission Monitoring Equipment

Opacity meters installed at our p.f fired Generating Stations monitor the level of particulates continuously and also provides the feed back to the automated flue gas conditioning system which in turn controls the rate of conditioning accordingly. Digital video cameras also have been installed for continuous visual monitoring of emission quality.

Continuous monitoring equipment for monitoring SOx and NOx are also installed at the stacks of our Budge Budge and Southern Generating Stations.

On Line Data Acquisition and Management

In order to have a close watch on the level of particulate emission these data are displayed continuously not only on the control panels of Control Rooms at our Generating Stations but also in much larger format special displays on top the of the panels alongside the most important performance parameters of the power station. This facility not only makes monitoring easier for the operating personnel but also drives them to attach utmost importance to the parameter.

These real-time data are also displayed continuously at the Station Managers desk through local area networks of respective Generating Stations, to the Company’s Head Office and also to the Corporate Environment Cell through CESC’s own intranet.

GHG Emission and Clean Development Mechanism Credit

The Company has also focused on energy efficient technologies and has adopted various energy efficiency improvement measures in the Generating Stations to accomplish this mission.

CESC is the first thermal power utility in the world to be registered with UNFCCC for Carbon Credits. In fact, CESC has to its credit, two registered CDM projects which reflects our strong commitment towards reduction of GHG emission. Our focus on energy efficient technologies and adoption of various energy efficiency improvement measures in the Generating Stations resulted in accomplishing this mission.

At Budge Budge we have been able to reduce energy consumption per kwh of energy generation and at Titagarh the original auxiliary fuel combustion system had been upgraded with more energy efficient technology. In both cases, significant saving in coal consumption resulted in reduction in CO2 generation.

Effluent Control

The circulating water from the river pumped through the condensers of the units having once-through system goes back to the river without any appreciable change of physical and chemical properties. The temperature of the CW outlet water discharged is monitored so that the difference between the temperatures at intake and outfall remains always within the permissible limit.

Treatment of all other effluents generated from different processes and sections of the Generating Station is primarily carried out at the Effluent Treatment Plants(ETP) by controlled dosing of necessary chemicals.

Neutralising pits are there at all our Generating Stations for treatment of effluent released from the De-Mineralizing Plants prior to its final treatment in ETPs.

Effluent Recyling and Conservation

All our operating Generating Stations have achieved complete recycling of effluent by adopting different modified processes.

Recycling of Bottom Ash Handling Water

These systems not only conserves huge quantity of fresh water normally used for ash handling but also eliminate the possibility of ash laden effluent to be discharged to the river due to improper treatment at any point of time.

Both our Budge Budge and Southern Generating Station were provided with Zero Discharge Bottom Ash handling system since their inception . In fact this system when installed at Southern was the first of its kind in the country.

Recycling of Process Effluent

Treatment of effluents generated from different processes and sections of the Generating Station is primarily carried out at the Effluent Treatment Plants(ETP) by controlled dosing of necessary chemicals. Neutralising pits are there at all our Generating Stations for treatment of effluent released from the De-Mineralizing Plants prior to its final treatment in ETPs.

Cooling Towers

Cooling towers which facilitates conservation of huge quantity of river water are installed at our Budge Budge Generating station for the Condenser Cooling Water system. A robust and effective chemical treatment system is in operation for maximising water conservation as well as protecting the health of the equipment by maintaining water parameters.

Root Zone System

This eco-friendly system had been installed at our Titagarh Generating Station for treatment of sewage released from the septic tank overflow and the clean water is entirely reused in gardening and watering of plants. This is in addition to the normal sewage treatment carried out for treatment of sewage in all the plants.

Ambient Air Monitoring

Ambient air quality parameters are monitored at all our Generating Stations and also in the vicinity, according to a fixed schedule and a close watch is kept on the parameters which are within our internal targets. Three Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Stations have been installed at the Budge Budge plant and surrounding areas.

Work Zone monitoring is also carried out as per schedule so that people working in sensitive areas like Coal Handling Plant, Ash Handling Plant and De-Mineralizing Plants are not exposed to undesirable conditions.

Dust Extraction and Dust Suppression Systems are provided at the Coal Handling plants to contain fugitive emission of coal dust.

Solid Waste Handling and Management
Ash Handling

At all our Generating Stations, dense phase Dry Ash Conveying Systems are installed by means of which fly ash is conveyed in dry form from the ESP hoppers to the Ash Silos. From the silos, dry ash is loaded onto sealed dumpers.

Bottom Ash is transferred in the form of slurry to the Hydrobins through the Zero-Discharge Bottom Ash handling system (as mentioned above) from where after decantation, the moist ash is transported in covered dumpers for land development, construction of roads, flyovers and embankments and for structural filling. The handling water however moves in a closed cycle through the system of Hydrobins, Settling Tanks and Surge Tanks thus eliminating the possibility of environmental degradation, the requirement for ash ponds and above all, conserving a huge quantity of fresh water.

Ash Utilization

Utilization of fly ash has always been a high priority issue for CESC. A separate Ash Management Cell at the Corporate level oversees ash utilization from all the Generating Stations.

A significant portion of the fly ash from our Budge Budge Generating Station is transported pneumatically through pipelines to the Silos on the pontoon jetties at the river front, erected specially for utilization of ash. Ash from these Silos are directly loaded on to covered barges for utilisation in cement factories manufacturing Portland Pozzolana Cement. Fly ash is also utilised in factories making bricks, blocks and tiles and in Ready Mix Concrete plants. Fly ash from Southern Generating Station is also used in cement industry, in making of bricks, blocks and tiles and in Ready Mix Concrete plants.

There is 100% utilisation of Ash at all the Generating Stations.

Hazardous Waste Management

All our Generating Stations hold valid authorization by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board for storage and disposal of hazardous wastes. Waste products like used oil are handed over to recyclers authorised by the State Pollution Control Board. Other wastes like resins or oil-soaked wastes are handed over to Hazardous Waste Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility (HWTSDF) operators also authorised by the state Pollution Control Board for scientific disposal maintaining environmental norms.

As per the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, the Environmental Information in standard formats, in both English and Bengali languages are displayed at the main entrance of all the Generating Stations for public viewing and the information is routinely updated at the beginning of every month. Information about Hazardous Wastes are also displayed in the same.

Biomedical Waste Management

All Biomedical waste generated in the Occupational Health Centres attached to the Generating Stations is properly segregated and disposed to authorised Biomedical waste disposal agencies on a monthly basis for safe and environment friendly disposal.

E-Waste Management

All E-waste generated in the Generating Stations is properly segregated, inventoried and disposed of only to agencies having valid authorisation for recycling e-waste from the State Pollution Control Boards.


Plantation and green belt development in and around the Generating Stations for abatement of air pollution, attenuation of noise and serving as a sink for CO2 , have always been considered to be a very important aspect of environment management in CESC.

At Budge Budge Generating Station, a total of over 1,00,000 trees have been planted and are being maintained under the guidance of expert consultants.

To conserve the biodiversity as well as to showcase the ancient Ayurveda legacy, a herbal medicinal plant garden consisting of species of medicinal plants like Mint, Aloe Vera, Holy Basil (Tulsi), Bhringaraj, Anantamool etc. has been constructed. The project has increased awareness about herbal cure among the employees of the plant. It also encourages the employees and the community to utilize medicinal plants for improving health and quality of life. Basic information about the plant such as its common name, botanical name, plant part used and the medicinal uses are also displayed.

Environmental Management Systems & Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

The operating Generating Stations are ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certified in respect of Environment Management Systems and Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

Environmental Management Set-Up

An Environment Cell at Generation Division’s Corporate office facilitates strategic decisions regarding environment management, oversees the environment management practices at the Generating Stations, liaise with Statutory Authorities and monitors Environmental performance. Engineers from the Corporate cell make visits to the Generating Stations and monitor the Particulate Matter, SOx and NOx emission levels.

At every individual Generating Station, a local Environment Management group consisting of engineers and headed by a senior level officer, perform all the required functions of environmental management. Another group at the corporate office namely the Ash Management Cell, monitors and control the ash evacuation and utilization activities of the Generating Stations.

To accomplish and implement certain specific objectives of the Management, Special Task teams are formed, consisting of engineers from the entire Generation Division. ‘Flue Gas Conditioning’ for emission reduction and ‘Total Effluent Recycling’ are a couple of such special tasks implemented by those teams in the past.

Awards and Accolades for Environmental Initiatives

Budge Budge

  • First prize in Environment Excellence Award 2006 and Second prize in Environment Excellence Award 2004 by West Bengal Cleaner Production Centre, a collaborative effort of Indian Chamber of Commerce and West Bengal Pollution Control Board.
  • National Award for Fly-Ash Utilization from Ministry of Power, Ministry of Environment & Forests and Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India in 2005.
  • Greentech Environment Excellence Gold Award in Thermal Power Sector in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2018 & 2019 organised by Greentech Foundation.
  • Silver Shield for Environment Management in Thermal Power Station in National Awards for Meritorious Performance in Power Sector from Ministry of Power, Govt. of India in 2010.
  • Gold Award for Best Environmental Performance Power Plant of the Year in Asian Power Awards 2010 by Asian Power Magazine.
  • Good Green Governance Awards 2011 from Srishti Publications in 2012.
  • Innovative Environmental Project Award from Confederation of Indian Industry in 2012.
  • Best Power Plant in India- 3 Leaves Award from Centre for Science & Environment (CSE) in 2015
  • Environment Excellence Award 2015 from Indian Chamber of Commerce
  • Winner of 2019 award for Clean Generator of the year-Coal from Mission Energy Foundation
  • Apex India Green Leaf Award (Gold) for Water stewardship in 2019
  • Energy and Environment Foundation Global Award for Water Conservation in 2019
  • Winner of CII National Award 2019 on Excellence in Water Management (Power Plant category)
  • Indian Chamber of Commerce Environment Excellence Award winner - 2019
  • Energy and Environment Foundation Global Award on Water Management in 2020
  • Energy and Environment Foundation Global Water Conservation Company of the Year 2021
  • Winner of Indian Chamber of Commerce Environment Excellence Awards 2021


  • Third in the large-scale industry sector of Environmental Excellence Award, 2007 by Indian Chamber of Commerce and West Bengal Pollution Control Board
  • Engineering Excellence Award winner in 2014 for Innovation in Zero Effluent Discharge System
  • Special Jury Appreciation at Indian Chamber of Commerce Environment Excellence Award 2018
  • Greentech Environment Excellence award winner in 2019. Gold Award winner in Thermal Power Sector in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
  • Special Jury Appreciation at Indian Chamber of Commerce Environment Excellence Awards 2020
  • Runner up award at Indian Chamber of Commerce Environment Excellence Awards 2021


  • National Water Management Award for Water Efficient Unit from Confederation of Indian Industry in 2009.
  • Bronze Award for Environmental Upgradation of the year in Asian Power Awards 2012.