Climate change impact is an important factor, making the situation of water-related risks become more severe in the future. It also poses a risk in power generation as water is an important factor for thermal power plants, where water is used in the power production process, such as generating steam in a boiler, controlling temperatures in a cooling system and air quality.
The efficient management of water resources used in the production process and discharged water qualitatively and quantitatively, will help reduce the impacts on communities and the environment from water scarcity and quality. It also mitigates BPP’s risks related to production costs, compliance with applicable laws, and community relations.
As the sources of water for steam production of CHP plants in China are from groundwater and water purchased from external manufacturers, the water management is focused on recycling water as much as possible in order to decrease the amount of water discharges and released water quality to comply with applicable laws. The target on water consumption intensity per unit of products has been set not over 0.868 cubic meters/MWh/year between 2021 to 2025. Meanwhile, the quality of discharged water in all operating areas must meet the standards set by laws. Activities carried out under BPP’s water management policy include:
- Managing water consumption with the maximum benefit and looking for opportunities to reduce water consumption, and reuse or recycle the water.
- Improving the discharged water quality in accordance with the standards specified by laws and developing measures to prevent chemical leakages and contaminations at its original sources.
- Implementing a holistic water management to ensure that water resources consumption for operations be in accordance with the righteousness and effectiveness with no effects to stakeholders in the area.
- Assessing risks associated with water resources and setting up measures and operational practices in the event of any emergency in order to reduce the impact on and the recovery of the area.
- Developing a surveillance system for both quality and quantity to ensure that water be well managed while the discharged water is compiled with the standards required by laws.
- Promoting stakeholder’s participation especially the local communities and the research sector in order to conserve water resources, improve water quality and management in the area.
- Water consumption intensity was 0.818 cubic meters/MWh, decreasing 6.78% when compared to the previous year, and able to successfully achieve the target for water consumption intensity per unit of products of not exceeding 0.868 cubic meters/MWh, or better than the target set by 5.81%.
- Water withdrawals totaling 6.305 million cubic meters, decreasing 0.59 million cubic meters, or a decrease of 8.6% when compared with the previous year.
- A released water quality was in accordance with the standards required by laws
- No incidents associated with chemical contaminants leaking into the water sources.
Key Activities and Projects
BPP assesses risks related to water scarcity from its business unit’s locations, with a reference to the WRI Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas (2019) – a program for categorizing areas with water resource risks, in terms of physical quantity and quality, regulatory & reputational risks, as well as anticipating future risks.
The 2022 assessment using data on areas facing the water shortage risk in the next 20 years, found that all three CHP plants in China, in which BPP has direct management control, are located in the areas with extremely-high risks associated with water resources. As a result, the three CHP plants, have made improvements to reduce the amount of water consumption and water discharges in compliance with the government’s regulations. The power plant’s extensions have also installed a recycling system, making them able to reuse all of their released water. Temple I Gas-fired Power Plant in USA, which assessed its risks associated with water resources for the first year, revealed that the power plant is not exposed to risks related to water scarcity significantly. Temple I, however, has installed the water recycle system at its power production towers. This has enabled the power plant to reduce water consumption in the area, with no water discharged to outside.
As for the joint-venture thermal power plants, namely BLCP Power Plant in Thailand and HPC Power Plant in Lao PDR, it was found BLCP Power Plant has medium-high level risks as the plant is located on the sea. Consequently, BLCP Power Plant has invested in a construction of the desalination plant, producing fresh water and tap water from seawater through the “Reverse Osmosis Seawater Desalination Plant” (ROSDP), with a capacity of 1,000 cubic meters/day. The aim is to alleviate the water shortage crisis in the eastern region, producing sufficient water for the people and farmers. Since 2020, the desalination plant has reduced its fresh water consumption by 100%. HPC Power Plant, though having low level risks associated with water resources, the power plant has managed water sources in the area, namely Nam Leuk and Nam Khan water sources. HPC Power Plant, in collaboration with the experts conducted a study to use models to forecast water balances in the areas, determine indicators for measuring water quantities in various points for surveillance and determining appropriate measures. The sedimentation ponds were constructed within the area to control water quality and to recycle water discharges.
Temple I Gas-fired Power Plant has a 10-acre (approximately 40,000 square meters) water reservoir within the power plant’s area to obtain water recycled from the wastewater treatment plant, serving surrounding communities. This recycled water is the main source of water, reducing wastewater discharges to nearby natural water bodies. It enables the power plant to have enough water for consumption. The cost of recycled water produced is lower than that of groundwater or other water sources.
Temple I Gas-fired Power Plant initially treats the water with a biological methodology through raising fish eating plants and algae as food. Thus, these fish raised help to control the number of algae and the acidity and alkalinity of the water. As a result, it can significantly reduce the amount of chemicals used in water treatment. After that, the water treated is fed into the power plant’s Zero-Liquid Discharge (ZLD) treatment system to meet quality standards. It can be used in the production process of Temple I Power Plant as well.
Through this holistic water management, Temple I Gas-fired Power Plant has sufficient water reserves, and does not discharge its production’s wastewater into the Texas basin.
Benefits gained from the project
Water Management Policy