The largest power generation company in India, NTPC Limited, is inviting local and foreign developers to build 100 waste-to-energy (WTE) plants all across India under the Swatch Bharat Mission of the government of India.
The chosen developers would be allotted plots of land, a steady supply of waste and support would be given to them to enable them to get regulatory clearances for quick implementation. The shortlisted firms would be empanelled for setting up the plants through a tender process separately.
The developers NTPC is interested in would be those with a proven history of successful commercial operations of WTE with a capacity of at least 300 tonnes per day and with a minimum of two years of successful operations, generating power from waste.
Power purchase agreements would also be put in place for the developers. This power agreement is very critical to the potential developer as a power agreement that is supported by NTPC will boost the confidence of funding agencies.
Earlier this year, NTPC had started work on Badarpur WTE plant which has the capacity to process 400 tonnes of garbage from South Delhi Municipal Corporation. The cost of setting up this plant is put at Rs 300 crore ($47 million).
Two waste-to-energy companies based in the UK, GJ Eco Power (GJEP) and GJ Nature Care & Energy (GJNCE) are planning to invest about Rs 1500 crore ($233 million) in some cities in south India to set up several advanced WTE plants within the gap of five years.
According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, waste from the towns and cities in India have the potential of generating about 500 MW of power, which could be increased to 1075 MW by 2031 and further increased to 2780 MW by the year 2050.
In the last couple of months, WTE projects have gained traction and attention from the government. States are required to procure all electricity that is generated from WTE plants without fail which would count towards the Renewable Purchase Obligation of power utilities.
As at July 31st, 2017, the total capacity of the power generated from waste projects in India was 287 MW, most of which are off the grid. It requires a lot of efforts from state governments, municipalities, and power utilities. According to the data from Central Electricity Authority, India has successfully harnessed 114.08MW waste-to-energy potential as at August 2017.
On October 2nd, 2014, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, launched the Abhiyan campaign which is aimed at providing sanitation facilities for every family which included toilets and solid and liquid waste disposal systems.
The campaign of Swach Bharat Abhiyaan is till date, the biggest step ever taken in the drive for a clean India. It is aimed at “Clean India” by October 2nd 2019, which would be the 150th birthday anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This campaign is projected to cost over 62000 crores (about $9.7 billion)
Some of the objectives of the campaign include:
- To eradicate the system of open defecation
- To make the toilets pour-flush toilets
- To eliminate the system of manual scavenging
- To enlighten the citizens about healthy sanitary practices
- To link people with sanitation programmes and public health to create relevant awareness
This campaign provides an enabling environment for private sector participation in the capital expenditure for the operations and maintenance cost related to the clean campaign.
In an effort to get corporate entities to invest into the campaign, the government had said that corporate donations towards the campaign would henceforth be regarded as CSR. To give a legal backing to this, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has amended Schedule VII of the Companies Act to specify that contributions to ‘Swach Bharat Kosh’ would be accounted as eligible CSR spends.