The United Nations Development Programme/Global Environment Facility assisted project on removal of barriers to biomass power generation in India has formally taken off with Pune-based Thermax Limited, a provider of engineering solutions to the energy and environment sectors, signing a MoU with Ruchi Soya Industries Limited for execution of a one MW fluidized bed biomass gasification plant. The MoU was recently signed in New Delhi in the presence of Gireesh B. Pradhan, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
The technology for the plant, to be set up at the Ruchi Soya Industries premises in Washim, Maharashtra, as a Model Investment Project, has been acquired by Thermax from the Energy Research Centre and Dahlman of Netherlands. The proposed gasification system will have higher conversion efficiency (greater than 95 percent) as compared to 80-85 percent of existing gasification systems and also an advanced gas cleanup system. It will overcome barriers such as non availability of proven single module of gasifier and gas clean up unit of capacity 1MW or above. Other features will include standardization of MW capacity systems, generation of operating data required as input for determination of separate tariff and demonstration of tri –generation.
So far, a cumulative generation capacity of over 3,700 MW through biomass power including bagasse cogeneration has been established in the country. The proposed plant at the Ruchi Soya Industries premises is expected to help demonstrate biomass gasification technology for generation of grid quality power.
The UNDP / GEF assisted project on removal of barriers to biomass power generation in India is currently being implemented by the MNRE. It aims to accelerate the adoption of environmentally sustainable biomass power technologies through removal of existing barriers and lay the foundation for large scale commercialization of biomass power through increased access to financing.
Meanwhile, the MNRE is planning to set up a separate company on the lines of Solar Energy Corporation of India for promotion and generation of biomass-based power.