Encouraging participation from start-ups
New Delhi, February 08 – NTPC ,India’s biggest power producer has invited bid for procuring 1,000 metric tonnes per day of agro residue based fuel for its 2,650 MW Dadri power plant in the National Capital Region as part of initiatives to help clean air and provide farmers with an alternate to burning crop residues, a major contributor to pollution.
“After completing the initial phases of test firing of biomass based pellets, NTPC has invited bids to supply 1,000 metric tonnes per day of agro residue based fuel (500 metric tonnes per day of agro residue pellets and 500 metric tonnes per day of torrefied agro residue based pellets or briquettes),” a company spokesperson said .
The tender will be for two years for 1,000 metric tonnes a day with “a capping price of Rs 5,500 per metric tonne has been kept for agro residue based pellets and Rs 6,600 per tonne for pellets or briquettes of torrefied agro residue.”
India has some of the highest levels of outdoor air pollution in the world. Multiple air pollution sources present a significant health burden attributable to ambient air pollution in India today. They also pose major challenges for air quality management and for the reduction of air pollution-related health burden in the future. Open burning of biomass has been identified as one of the major cause of poor air quality in Northern India, especially in and around Delhi.
Understanding the gravity of the problem, NTPC initiated a programme to consume agro residue based fuel for firing in their power plants along with coal. Subsequently, the government has also come with an advisory to fire five to ten per cent of agro residue based fuel in thermal power plants.
A recognised technology to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), firing agro reside based pellets along with coal is more economical and efficient than dedicated biomass plant and also avoids risk of loss of generation due to alternate fuel availability. As against solar and wind, biomass power can be scheduled as per load demand, eliminating indirect costs to handle variability of variable renewables, contributing to affordable power to all.
To attract start-ups and greater participation, NTPC has allowed participation of bidders without any prior experience. Companies/state or central PSUs/individuals/partnership firms/ NGOs/trusts/co-operatives/welfare societies/ limited liability partnership (LLP) having GSTIN and PAN can participate in the bidding process.
Sufficient lead time is also being provided to establish new manufacturing capacity as the successful bidders will be required to deliver the material from September 2018. Further, NTPC has broken up the total demand into smaller lots of 20 metric tonnes per day. A bidder can bid for any number of lots but not exceeding 12 lots to encourage wider participation.
If NTPC is able to attract sufficient bidders for the quantity required, it can open doors for using agro residue in power plants across the country. This can dramatically increase the share of renewable energy in the country, reducing carbon footprint of thermal power plants. The initiative would not only discourage infield crop burning abating pollution, but also create large scale rural employment opportunities in agro residue supply chain and its processing.
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