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UP may lose Rs 4000 crore waste-to-energy project

According to reports, Uttar Pradesh may lose a Rs 4000- crore ‘waste-to-energy’ project as the US firm, which sent the proposal four months ago, has hinted at approaching Tamil Nadu or Karnataka following no response from the urban development department.

The US-based Renewable Energy Alternatives (REA) had approached the SP government in June to set up a 500 MW ‘waste-to-energy’ project in the state. The company had even given a presentation before urban development minister Azam Khan, but the proposal gathers dust despite four reminders.

A top government official, closely associated with the project, said the company appeared to be frustrated with the red-tape and has indicated at moving out of the state. Special secretary (urban development) Prakash Singh could not be contacted for comments, but department’s principal secretary, CB Paliwal, confirmed the project had not reached his table. “The company has given a presentation. But I do not know what has happened,” Paliwal said.

In one of the reminders sent to the department on August 9, Bernard Schmidt of the company said his “team is ready to proceed once an agreement is in place”. Monty Dhillon, chief engineer of the company, said they had sent a number of such reminders to the government. “But there has been no response from the government.” He said.

Company sources said it was initially decided that the project would be set up on a public-private-partnership (PPP) model with the 20 per cent funding from the state government. Later, the company had offered 100% investment. The company employs the latest technique for producing electricity from garbage and tapping of solar energy. Garbage is used to produce synthetic gas, also referred to as ‘sin gas’, which further leads to production of power. The quality of the ash left behind is well suited for use in laying roads and construction purposes, company sources said.

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