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Rice millers in Haryana to generate biomass power from rice husk for captive consumption

Biomass projects in states like Uttar Pradesh have been extremely successful and have contributed a lot in bolstering rural economy and agri-business. Innovative biomass-based power plant, established in Fatehullar village of Ghazipur, UP. Biomass collection centres (BCCs) at various locations in the state were formed, where farmers can get value for their agro-waste that was earlier burnt in the field.

 A number of districts in east UP region like Jaunpur, Mirzapur, Chandauli and Buxar (Bihar) are in the pipeline to get such centres soon.

These centres have great potential for enhancing rural employment and economy besides adding value to agri-businesses for small and marginal farmers, he added. He also said that such centres would be opened at more places in the country, beginning with UP and Bihar.

As most biomass developers would acknowledge and as Panchabuta has often repeated, the biggest problem in such projects is the availability of feedstock and the availability at the right price and usually this varies even within the state and within a particular district this has to be analyzed at a micro market level for the success of the project.

Rice millers in Punjab have had success in developing captive biomass power plants with rice husk as feedstock.

According to reports,  Rice millers in Haryana are turning to power generation for captive use through biomass co-generation. Easy availability of rice husk and upgradation of technology at minimum cost are the contributory factors driving them to generate own power through this renewable energy resources.

Till date seven projects of 15.45 mw, based on biomass co-generation, have been commissioned in the state with five projects of 10.45 mw commissioned in March this year. Apart from this, distilleries are also generating power for captive use through biogas-based power projects.

A senior official of the Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (Hareda) said, “We have also roped in Haryana Rice Millers Association and All India Rice Millers Export Association to promote this medium of co-generation. They can use rice husk and steam to run the plant. The only requirement is to upgrade the boiler from low pressure to high pressure one.

The promoters get a subsidy of R20 lakh per megawatt or a maximum of R5 crore from the centre for such projects. “Till date we have a total of 141.56 mw of power projects based on renewable energy resources commissioned in the state.”

The ones commissioned in March include Shri Vishnu Overseas at Kaithal, which has set up 1.5 mw plant at a cost of R6.75 crore. RP Basmati rice, Karnal has commissioned 0.5 mw project at a cost of R2.25 crore. Sunstar Overseas, based in Sonepat has set up 1.95 mw of biomass co-generation plant at a cost of R8.77 crore while REI Agro (unit II) at Bawal growth centre, Jaliawas, Rewari has commissioned 2.5 mw cogeneration power plant. Best Food international has set up a 4 mw co-generation plant at a cost of R18 crore. Besides these Globus Spirits distillery at Smalkha, Panipat district has commissioned 3 mw of biogas based power project in March.

Four more projects of 9.50 mw are under installation and are expected to be commissioned in another two months. By August the state is likely to have 25 mw of biomass co-generation power projects.

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