Bangalore-based, Singapore headquartered Allgreen Energy India is all set to launch a major initiative in the field of generation of energy fron non-conventional sources. The company has plans to set up biomass projects based on gassification technology at 10 sites in India starting with three projects in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
The gassification technology converts solid biomass, by a process called controlled pyrolysis into a combustible gas. In conventional technology biomass is burned in a boiler to produce steam that is used for generating electricity.
The first three projects will be launched by March 2010 with each plant expected to generate 6.5mw, and the total output, when all 10 are commissioned in two to three years reaching 65mw. The company expects to set up the plants with an investement of Rs50 crore each. The funding will the through debt and equity in the ratio 70:30.
Work on the first three plants is expected to commence by end March this year.
The company will tie up with ITC to identify potential biomass-rich locations. Allgreen India chairman and chief executive officer Kamlesh Tejawani said that they are mainly looking at rural areas. He added that he could not divulge the exact locations at this stage.
He said that they would access the government's open access provision and supply to grid through power brokers.
Tejawani said that Allgreen is adopting the proven and patented biomass gasification process developed at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). He said the company has strategic partnerships with GE energy and ITC Ltd.
India's has potential exceeding 16,000 MW out of which only a tiny fraction has been harnessed according to official figures.
Each project is expected to consume up to 50,000 tonnes of biomass per annum.
According to Tejwani, the plants will provide opportunities for employment to local people. He said that a part of the electricity generated would be supplied to rural areas where the plants will be set up.
Besides wind and solar energy, biomass is an area of renewable energy that holds promise of meeting a substantial percentage of the power requirements of the country. The state-run agency Rajasthan Renewable Energy said the Rajasthan government plans to spend $1.6 billion on renewable energy projects, including wind and biomass plants.