National Thermal Power Corporation, the country's largest power generator, is planning to diversify into cement manufacturing and is looking for a joint venture partner to set up four units in different parts of the country.
"We have invited Expressions of Interest from interested parties," said R K Jain, director (Technical) NTPC, on the sidelines of a 'Power Conference' Power India 2008.
The power major generates about 95 million tones of fly ash from its various units annually. Fly ash is an important raw material for cement business.
However, the official did not specify where the projects would come up, or what would be the investment involved in the envisaged cement projects and NTPC's share in the JV.
At present, the company utilises the ash produced from its 16 power stations for use in cement and asbestos products, concrete manufacturing, land filling, roads and embankments and other building products.
He said NTPC plans to become a 50,000 MW capacity company by 2012, from the 27,900 MW installed till 2007, with an investment of $36 billion.
The growth strategy will include capacity addition through greenfield and brownfield projects, joint ventures and acquisitions, hydro projects, coal mining and power trading.
NTPC's coal fired power stations produce about 23 million tonnes of ash annually, about 37 per cent of which is diverted for cement and concrete businesses.
The ministry of environment and forest mandates all coal- and lignite-based thermal power plants to utilise the ash generated from the plants for manufacturing ash-based products such as cement and concrete blocks.