Faridkot, Ferozepur biomass plants start generating power from stubbleUpdated: Feb 12, 2020 20:41 IST
Two private biomass plants — one at Sedha Singhwala Wala village in Faridkot district’s Jaitu block and the other at Ferozepur’s Hukumat Singh Wala village — have started generating electricity from paddy stubble.
The plants have a capacity of 18 megawatt (MW) each.
“The construction of both the plants was completed in the mid of last year and the trials were started in October- end. Both became fully operational in January,” said Sudhanshu Jindal, an official of Sukhbir Agro-Energy Limited that owns both plants.
“The Jaitu plant was to become functional in March last year. Though the company had procured stubble in 2018 and stored it at the unit, there was delay in the installation of machinery. Farmers of Faridkot, Muktsar and Bathinda sold stubble at the Faridkot plant last year as well,” said another company official.
The plants purchased around 3 lakh-tonne paddy straw from farmers last season.
“We have also set up five outdoor storage centres in Ferozepur and Moga districts. The electricity is sold to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) as per the agreement,” said Anil Diwan, project in-charge of Ferozepur biomass plant.
Also, Diwan flagged some operational issues. “Paddy stubble is stored and used throughout the year. The fuel value of the stored straw decreases with time. The plant also can’t function when it rains,” he added.
With 29.2 lakh hectares of land under paddy cultivation in the state, the farmers face the challenge of managing nearly 22 million tonne paddy straw.
Project director, agriculture technology management agency (ATMA), Faridkot, Amandeep Keshav said, “A total of 1 lakh hectare area was under paddy cultivation last season in Faridkot district and the production of paddy straw was more than 6 lakh tonnes. The biomass plant has helped in disposing a significant amount of paddy straw in the district.”
Sukhbir Agro-Energy Limited’s sister company Universal Bio-Mass Energy is generating power from paddy residue at its 14.5MW biomass power plant at Channu village in Muktsar district.