India’s largest Edible Oil player, Ruchi Soya Industries Limited and leader in energy and environment solutions, Thermax Limited have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up 1 MW fluidised bed biomass gasification plant, laying the foundation for large-scale commercialisation of biomass power in the country. Mr. Gireesh B. Pradhan, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy was present when Mr. VK Jain, Director (Commercial), Ruchi Soya Industries Limited and Dr. RR Sonde, Executive Vice President, Thermax Limited signed the MoU in New Delhi.
Mr. Dinesh Shahra, MD, Ruchi Soya commented, “This project will not only help us in utilization of biomass at the Ruchi Soya crushing plant at Washim but also generate additional income for local community. Biomass, which is not useful as animal feed can be used in this power generation project.”
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy with assistance from the United Nations development Program and the Global Environment Fund runs program aimed at accelerating adoption of environmentally sustainable biomass power technologies by removing the barriers identified. The one MW fluidized bed biomass gasification plant to be set up by Ruchi Soya at its Washim unit in Maharashtra will act as a Model Investment Project. The plant will be executed by Pune based Thermax on the technology acquired from the Energy Research Centre and Dahlman, Netherlands.
The proposed gasification system will have higher conversion efficiency (more than 95%) as compared to 80-85% of the existing gasification systems. An advanced gas cleanup system will overcome the existing barriers such as non availability of proven single module of gasifier and gas clean up unit of capacity one MW or above. It will generate operating data required for standardization and act as input for determination of separate tariff and demonstration of tri – generation. This plant will also help in demonstrating biomass gasification technology for generation of grid quality power.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, has a wide range of programs for harnessing energy as well as grid interactive and off grid power from biomass which is renewable in nature and carbon neutral. It has potential to provide large productive employment in rural areas using commercially available thermal and biological conversion technologies. A cumulative generation capacity of over 3700 MW through biomass power including bagasse cogeneration has been so far established in India. The project by Ruchi Soya at Washim plant is designed to address the barriers which impede deployment of large-scale biomass projects in India.