Environmental impact study of Lakhra power project conducted
HYDERABAD: The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa), regional office Hyderabad, has conducted the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed 660MW coal-fired Lakhra power project at Jamshoro district. The assessment shows improvement in ambient air quality, as well as increased socio-economic benefits to the community in the form of employment and business opportunities, according to a press release.
In a follow-up to the review and public consultation process, a public hearing was conducted by Sepa Sindh on Tuesday at the Lakhra coal power plant site where Sepa Director General Naeem Ahmed Mughal highlighted issues regarding the environmental aspects of the project. These included the issue of waste water, water pollution and its impacts on aquatic bio-diversity of the River Indus, air pollution (dust emission, fly ash and bottom ash), ash handling, disposal practice of hazardous material, and noise pollution.
Mr Mughal said that the management should take the handling and disposal practices of flying ash seriously.
He strictly warned the management to carry out an environmental audit which covers all environmental issues effectively and rectifies the non-compliance of the Sindh Environmental Protection Act (Sepa) 2014.
The management should carry the air dispersion model on fast track, he said. They should also develop the health safety environmental section and provide personal protective equipment to all its workers.
During the public hearings, major environmental concerns have been addressed by the locals of Lakhra and its vicinity, as the coal needed to run the plant is obtained from adjacent Lakhra coal fields.
The dust collector system of the power plant has become older and as a result some particles and gases go out in to the atmosphere and settle down in surrounding areas. The power plant is also not equipped with dust collectors and filter bags, and there are some leakage points in the coal crushing chamber. Also, around 600 tons of flying ash is produced with improper disposal.
The proposed 660MW power plan will be installed on the land adjacent to the existing Lakhra fluidised bed combustion (FBC) power station.
The report also says that the impact on water quality, noise and aquatic environment is within acceptable limits.
The proposed project will bring improvement in ambient air quality as the rehabilitation of the emission controls on the existing plant would facilitate the realisation of the new plant.
A comprehensive environmental management plan has been developed to ensure the implementation of the environmental and social mitigations measures committed in the EIA.