Punjab Biomass Plans 96 Megawatts of Renewable Projects in India

Punjab Biomass Power Ltd., a developer of clean-energy projects in India, plans to set up 96 megawatts of plants fueled by rice straw by 2017.

The company, backed by Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd. and Bermaco Energy Ltd., expects to raise 800 million rupees ($15.2 million) by February for its next plant in northern Punjab state, Bermaco Managing Director Monish Ahuja said in a phone interview today from Mumbai. It has an existing 12-megawatt plant in Patiala district.

India, the second-largest producer of rice and sugar, estimates it has the potential to produce 17,536 megawatts of power from burning crop waste, the equivalent capacity of about 16 nuclear plants. It has built 3,319 megawatts of biomass capacity, including plants fueled by sugar-cane pulp that produce both electricity and heat, according to data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Punjab Biomass plans seven more 12-megawatt projects that will sell power to Punjab State Power Corp. That expansion may include the purchase of a shuttered plant owned by the state government, he said.

IL&FS owns 51 percent of Punjab Biomass, and the remainder is held by Bermaco. Gammon Infrastructure Projects Ltd. exited the company last year.

Interested in learning more about this topic? Come to Renewable Energy World North America in Orlando this December and check out our session: Rice Husks, Sludge, Wood Waste and More: How Viable are Alternative Fuels for Heat or Power?

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg

Lead image: Rice straw via Shutterstock

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