KPCL to set up waste-to-energy plant

KPCL to set up waste-to-energy plant

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday (October 25) gave the green signal to KPCL set up a 15 megawatt (MW) WtE plant in Bidadi. File photo

The Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd (KPCL) is all set to become the first government-owned undertaking to set up a waste-to-energy (WtE) plant in the state.

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) long-pending proposal for the KPCL to take up the project, has gained steam with the state government finally giving a nod for it. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Thursday (October 25) gave the green signal to KPCL set up a 15 megawatt (MW) WtE plant in Bidadi.

The move brings cheer to the BBMP, which is grappling the garbage crisis on an everyday basis. Ironically, the Palike’s public private projects (PPP) in and around Bengaluru has remained a non-starter for over a decade - this, despite several companies coming forward to set up WtEs.

The BBMP had mooted the proposal to KPCL to set up the plant more than two years ago. After weighing the pros and cons, the Corporation has decided to embark upon the venture at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore. While the pre-feasibility report was submitted last year, the Detailed Project Report (DPR) was readied by the Gurugram-based Tractebel Engineering Pvt Ltd a month ago.

Officials said that the plant will come up on 15 acres of land available with KPCL adjoining the Bidadi-Harohalli road. KPCL owns about 175 acres of land here. It will require anywhere between 500 to 1,000 tonnes of dry waste to generate power.

Welcoming the move, BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said that the project would reduce the Palike’s burden relatively in waste management.

He said that around 4,200 tonnes of domestic waste is generated everyday in Bengaluru. In addition to this, around 1,500 tonnes of waste is disposed by bulk generators. Prasad said that the eight composting units had the capacity to process only 2,700 tonnes of waste, while the rest of the waste was going to the landfills.

Hailing the KPCL project as a “flagship” programme, Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, BBMP, said that the KPCL WtE would considerably reduce the pressure on the landfills. He said that the BBMP has sanctioned Rs 100 crore to set up a WtE of its own, and that money could be utilised by KPCL. The Corporation has proposed to invest 20% of the total project cost and borrow the remaining amount from banks.

He said that the proposed PPP projects had not materialised owing to protests from local villagers and also inordinate delays in grant of licences by various agencies.

Now, the BBMP is pinning hopes on three companies - Israel-based Satarem, US-based Indium and France-based 3Wayste SAS, to start the WtEs.

While the Satarem plant (1,000 tonnes) is said to come up in Kannahalli and Seegehalli villages; Indium has planned to set up the plant in Doddabidarakallu. 3Wayste SAS will be setting up the plant in Chikkanagamangala, added Khan. The proposals to set up WtEs by the Netherlands based Nexus Novus in Bagalur; and Zee Group’s Essel Infrastructure in Giddenahalli, have been rejected.