Furthering the ‘green growth’ agenda, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has signed an MoU with Engineers India Limited (EIL) to develop waste-to-energy and bio-methanation projects in cities with a population of a million plus.
The thrust on sustainable solid waste management has been strengthened under the ambit of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, with the overall vision of creating garbage-free cities.
Focusing on this objective, MoHUA has decided to set up large-scale solid waste processing facilities in million plus cities. There are 59 million plus cities in India like Lucknow, Kanpur, Bareilly, Nasik, Thane, Nagpur, Gwalior, Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore to name a few. For management of organic/wet fraction of municipal solid waste bio-methanation plants have been proposed in these cities.
In February 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated Asia’s biggest municipal solid waste based GOBARDHAN plant in Indore aiming to generate 19,000 kg of bio-CNG. Under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, the bio-methanation plants linked to the GOBARDHAN and SATAT schemes will produce bio-CNG as a renewable energy.
Waste-to-energy plants use dry waste fraction of municipal solid waste and produce renewable power with maximum reduction of waste volume utilising least space in execution in compliance with solid waste management or SWM Rules 2016 and fulfil all the statutory norms of environment protection.
Waste-to-energy and bio-methanation projects will integrate the concept of circularity in waste management by producing green energy from dry and wet waste components of municipal solid waste. The by-products such as electricity and bio-CNG will also help in achieving sustainability of waste management operations.
EIL will assist and handhold the million plus cities in developing such projects for larger quantum of waste integrating circularity in waste management. In the first phase, 25 million plus cities will be selected for developing large-scale process plants.
The success of these projects will be pivotal as it will be conceptualised and executed as bench-marking for such projects. Thus, collaboration for providing support in preliminary technical assessment and transaction advisory services from EIL will have significant impact.
EIL will also handhold urban local bodies in carrying out monitoring processes of these PPP projects during the construction phase and will assist in obtaining statutory approvals. T
he initiative will result in an additional processing capacity of 15,000 tonne per day (tpd) for bio-methanation and 10,000 TPD for waste to energy respectively.
In the Union Budget 2023-24 presentation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had listed the seven priorities of the ‘Saptarishi’ guiding us through the Amrit Kaal. In the ‘Green Growth’ segment, 500 new waste-to-wealth plants will be established under the GOBARDHAN scheme for promoting the circular economy. These will include 200 compressed biogas plants, 75 in urban areas, 300 community or cluster-based plants, at a total investment of Rs 10,000 crore.
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