NTPC to partially use crop residue to fire power plants
In order to keep tabs on its carbon footprint as well as help reduce burning of crop residue by farmers on their fields, power producer NTPC Limited has decided to use biomass pellets for co-firing its various thermal plants.
Co-firing is a process where coal and biomass pellets – made up of crop residue – are co-combusted in boilers to produce power. NTPC has envisaged consumption of five million tonnes of biomass pellets in the current year at its 17 power plants across the country, including the one at Dadri. Besides helping reduce carbon emissions, co-firing also aims to help create large scale rural employment opportunities, through processing and supply chain, for the biomass, an NTPC spokesperson said.
For this, the power producer has issued a tender to hire an agency to supply biomass pellets after collecting crop residue from farmers in different states.
The NTPC, in a press statement, said that as per their estimates, about 145 million metric tonnes per annum of crop residue remains unutilised in the country and most of it is burnt in open fields, giving severe air pollution.
An official of the power corporation said that the NTPC had first undertaken this initiative on a pilot basis at its Dadri plant in 2017, wherein 100 tonnes of agro residue-based pellets had been fired. The test-firing was carried out in four phases, with a gradual increase in percentage of firing. Till date, the company has fired more than 7,000 tonnes of agro residue pellets.
“Post successful implementation at Dadri, the NTPC now plans to replicate the model at 17 of its plants. The application process for bids for the tender will start on September 28 and the last date is October 5,” the spokesperson said.