Work will begin shortly on a huge plant that produces biogas from waste generated by the city’s restaurant industry. It is expected to be operational in a year and a half.
The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is expected to give its approval for the project, at Kannahalli on Magadi Road, in a day or two.
Nobel Exchange Environment Solutions, which has set up a plant in Pune, is all set to work on the Bangalore plant.
K S Girish Kumar, general manager (projects) of Noble Exchange, said, “We have written to the Pollution Control Board and addressed their concerns about the water discharge.”
The plant plans to transport the discharge to agricultural fields by truck, and will get into an agreement with farmers.
KSPCB Chairman Vamanacharya told City Express, “We want to allow such plants. But with this project located next to the Kannahalli lake and surrounded by Kempegowda Layout, our concerns are serious. The plant is expected to generate 135 kilo litres of effluent per day, which, if released into the lake or the surroundings through BWSSB sewer lines, could become a big problem.”
It was only in December last year that the BBMP provided five acres (in the Peenya-Dasarahalli zone) to the Bruhat Bangalore Hoteliers’ Association (BBHA) for setting up this waste-to-biogas converter plant.
BBHA President Chandrashekar Hebbar says, “We signed a memorandum with the BBMP. After the sanction of five acres, we have given the project to this company. For transportation, we pay them Rs 0.90 per kg of wet waste and 0.40 per kg of dry waste.”
Noble Exchange has set up similar plants in Satara and Pune where sugar industry waste is being processed to produce gas, manure as well as energy that is used to light up a neighbourhood.
Since the plant will handle waste from 1,500-1,700 hotels scattered across the city, Girish Kumar says restaurants and hotesl will be bunched logistically for waste collection.
The waste will be transported in odourless, specially designed containers, ensuring that it does not dirty the city.
“We are planning to provide organic bags to hotels. We will also provide bar codes so that we can track the identity of the hotel, and the size of the waste,” he said.
The plant operates four big digesters that need no oxygen or fresh water for conversion.
The plant will be set up at a cost of `60 crore. Girish Kumar said that it would take 18 months for the project to commence operations.
“We have to get permission from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization, Nagpur, as we handle biogas, filling it up in cylinders for sale in the open market,” he said. Eateries are now grappling with the problem, and depend on private contractors to clear their waste every morning.
The Pune experience
The Karnataka State Biofuel Board and a team from the State Pollution Control Board visited the Noble Exchange biogas plants in Pune.
“We generate enough power from this plant to light up 22 street lamps and 179 LED lamps inside the garden,” said Girish Kumar of Nobel Exchange.
Hoteliers also visited the company’s plant in Pune, where they saw the huge biogas plant that uses hotel waste. Impressed, they have decided to go in for a similar project in Bangalore.