New Delhi : NTPC Limited has invited bids for the procurement of 1,000 tonnes of agricultural biomass on a daily basis for its power plant at Dadri, in Uttar Pradesh. The move will provide farmers an alternative to stubble burning — a major cause of air pollution in northern India.”After completing the initial phases of the test firing of biomass-based pellets, NTPC has invited bids to supply 1,000 tonnes per day of agro residue based fuel,” it said in a statement.The move follows a National Green Tribunal (NGT) query to NTPC, which questioned if crop residue could be used for power generation and thereby provide an alternative to farmers, who burn their farms to rid fields of rice straw. They do so because manual removal is a time-consuming and an expensive affair. Burning biomass, it has been found, is a major source of air pollution in northern India, especially in-and-around capital Delhi. “Understanding the gravity of the problem, NTPC initiated a programme to consume agro residue-based fuel for firing in their power plants along with coal,” it said. The tender governs procurement for two years, for 1,000 tonnes of biomass per day — 500 tonnes of agro residue pallets and 500 metric tonnes of pellets or briquettes of torrefied agro residue. Successful bidders will have to commence deliveries to the 2650 MW power plant in Dadri from September 2018.The power producer has capped purchase prices at Rs 5,500 per tonne for agro residue-based pellets and Rs 6,600 per tonne for pellets or briquettes of torrefied agro residue. To attract start-ups and seek greater participation, the NTPC tender permits the participation of bidders without any prior experience.
NTPC also said that agro residue will be used at other power plants across the country if the power producer can attract sufficient bidders. The move will help in increasing the share of renewable energy in the country, reducing the carbon footprint of thermal power plants, discourage in-field crop burning thereby abating pollution, and will create large scale rural employment opportunities, the BSE-traded firm added.
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