NTPC floats tender to procure biomass pellets to co-fire thermal power plantsNTPC, a PSU under the Ministry of Power, has invited bids for procurement of biomass pellets for its various thermal plants on the basis of Domestic Competitive Basis (DCB) as part of its endeavour to reduce burning of crop residue on farmlands that cause air pollution.

The power producer has envisaged consumption of five million tonne of pellets in FY21 at its 17 power plants including NTPC Korba (Chhattisgarh), NTPC Farakka (West Bengal), NTPC Dadri (Uttar Pradesh), NTPC Kudgi (Karnataka), NTPC Sipat (Chhattisgarh), and NTPC Rihand (Uttar Pradesh).

The company had first undertaken the unique initiative on pilot basis in 2017 for biomass co-firing by replacing some of the coal with pellet-based fuel at NTPC Dadri, Uttar Pradesh.

Post successful implementation, it now plans to replicate the model in 17 of its state-of-the-art plants.

The invitation for bids will be done through e-tendering at SRM Portal. The bidding process will be followed by the single stage, two envelope bidding system.

The co-firing will help create large scale rural employment opportunities in processing as well as supply chain for biomass. The power producer will give preference to bids from suppliers from Punjab and Haryana.

NTPC had fired 100 tonne of agro residue-based pellets at Dadri in 2017. The test-firing was carried out in four phases, with gradual increase in percentage of firing from 2.5 percent to 10 percent along with coal. As of 27 September 2020, the company has fired more than 7,000 tonne agro residue pellets.

As per estimates, about 145 million tpa crop residue remains unutilised and most of it is burnt in India in the open fields, creating severe air pollution that leads to health issues.

With its gross calorific value comparable to the bituminous coal, the power generation potential of the entire 145 million tpa biomass burnt through co-firing in coal-based power plants is equivalent to 28,000-30,000 MW of round-the-clock generation of renewable power which can produce the same amount of electrical energy as can be produced from solar capacity of 1,25,000-1,50,000 MW.

With a total installed capacity of 62.9 GW, NTPC Group has 70 power stations comprising 24 coal, seven combined cycle gas/liquid fuel, one hydro, 13 renewables along with 25 subsidiary and JV power stations.

The Group has over 20 GW capacity under construction, of which five GW comprises renewable energy.

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