Thermax and Ruchi Soya Industries have joined hands to set up a 1 MW fluidised bed biomass gasification plant at the premises of Ruchi Soya Industries at Washim, Maharashtra, laying the foundation for large-scale commercialisation of biomass power in the country.
The project, being implemented by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) with assistance from the United Nations development Programme (UNDP) and the Global Environment Fund (GEF), aims at accelerating the adoption of environmentally sustainable biomass power technologies by removing the barriers identified.
The pilot project will lay the foundation for large scale commercialisation of biomass power through increased access to financing.
Thermax's Pune facility will execute the plant based on the technology acquired by them from the Energy Research Centre (ECN) and Dahlman of the Netherlands.
The proposed gasification system is claimed to have a higher conversion efficiency (>95 per cent) as compared to 80-85 per cent of the existing gasification systems and also an advanced gas cleanup system and will overcome the existing barriers such as non-availability of proven single module of gasifier and gas clean-up unit of capacity 1MW or above, standardisation of MW capacity systems, generation of operating data required as input for determination of separate tariff and demonstration of tri-generation, besides demonstration of biomass gasification technology for generation of grid quality power.
MNRE has a wide range of programmes for harnessing energy as well as grid interactive and off-grid power from biomass, which is renewable in nature, carbon neutral and has the potential to provide large productive employment in rural areas using commercially available thermal and biological conversion technologies. The country is estimated to have a cumulative generation capacity of over 3700 MW through biomass power, including bagasse cogeneration so far. The present project is designed to address the barriers which impede its deployment.