Abdullah inaugurates biomass plant in Punjab (Lead)

February 19th, 2010 - 7:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Feb 19 (IANS) Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah Friday inaugurated a 14.5 MW biomass plant in Punjab, the third of its kind in the state.
This Rs.80-crore plant in Channu village of Muktsar district is one of the 29 such biomass plants that are set to generate nearly 400 MW power in Punjab in the coming months. The plant is to generate electricity from agriculture waste and residue.

“Encouraged with the response in biomass energy, our ministry has sanctioned 21 more such mini-power plants besides sanctioning pilot projects in the area of solar and wind energy. Under the pilot project, we are planning to provide solar/wind run water pumps to the farmers of Punjab at subsidised prices,” said Abdullah.

“If successful, then it could save Rs.3,500 crore power subsidy being provided by state (Punjab) to the farmers,” he said.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was also present during the inauguration ceremony and mooted a lucrative option for farmers to generate earnings by selling agricultural wastes.

“Twenty-nine biomass plants would be operational all across the state in next 18 months. Each plant would buy agricultural waste to the tune of Rs.30 to 40 crore every year from the farmers, in the 30 km radius of each plant,” Badal said.

Badal said it is a big boost for the farmers as they would be now earning Rs.900 crore more by just selling the agricultural waste which was earlier burnt by them.

“These plants use agricultural waste like cotton and rice husk, cow dung, straws and stalks of paddy, cotton and wheat to produce electricity. Even this plant’s by-product fly ash would be used for making bricks,” pointed out Badal.

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