Waste-to-energy plant runs into hurdles

Principal Secretary, Energy Department, Mahendra Jain said the matter will be discussed at the KPCL board meeting before taking any decision.

Published: 18th March 2020 06:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2020 02:56 PM   |  A+A-

A view of the BBMP garbage dumpyard, Mandur Village

A view of the BBMP garbage dumpyard, Mandur Village. (File photo | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The state government’s plans to use the enormous amount of garbage generated by Bengaluru to produce electricity has run into several problems.The Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) had floated tenders to set up a waste-to-energy plant in Bidadi, Ramanagara district, but the project has been moving at a snail’s pace.

“The cost at which they are getting bidders is much higher than anticipated. This is why the project is going slow now,” sources in the energy department told The New Indian Express.The state government had originally proposed to set up a 5MW waste to energy plant, but in the recent budget, the capacity was increased to 11.5 MW.

“The reason for increasing the capacity of the plant was not just because of the large quantity of garbage available, but also because of the cost factor. Earlier for the 5MW project, when tenders were called, the price quoted was 25 per cent higher, and now it is 30- 35 per cent higher. So they are now thinking of what needs to be done,” the source said.

The energy department had estimated that the project would produce electricity at a cost of around Rs 15- 20 per MW, but bidders are quoting a price of around Rs 27-30 per MW as cost of production.

Expensive electricity
Production of refuse derived fuel (RDF) is also a costly affair. “Of the 5,000 MT of waste generated in Bengaluru, only 15- 20 per cent can be used to generate electricity. Also, the waste should be in continuous supply. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike must ensure that the waste procured is well-processed, which is not happening at present. Dependency on BBMP is also very high. If BBMP fails to supply, the waste will have to purchased from other sources and that will again be costly,” the energy department source said.

Principal Secretary, Energy Department, Mahendra Jain said the matter will be discussed at the KPCL board meeting before taking any decision. He added that once things work out well, the decision on setting up more such waste to energy units will also be taken.

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