NTPC invites EOI to produce torrefied biomass pellets from startups

NTPC has issued a request for proposals to provide a one-of-a-kind platform for Indian startups that could help in the development of a biomass ecosystem in the country. The platform will be put in shape by NETRA, the R&D wing of NTPC, for production of the torrefied biomass pellets that are well-suited for decentralised small-scale users. The submission deadline of the proposals titled, “Torrefied Pellet Manufacturing Plant for Agri-Waste” is May 19, 2022.

India produces 230 MMTA of biomass, which is either wasted or burnt. Biomass co-firing in power plants has shown to be a crucial method for dealing with this problem and lowering carbon emissions. Biomass co-firing in coal-fired power plants was pioneered by NTPC. Since implementing co-firing, NTPC has been striving to improve the entire biomass sector value chain in a number of ways. As per the reports, many NTPC plants have already started the required biomass pellet co-firing with coal. For a number of plants, long-term procurement has also begun.

Till now, the emphasis has primarily been on non-torrefied biomass pellets. Torrefied biomass pellet production, on the other hand, should be prioritised for bulk biomass consumption since torrefied biomass pellets have a higher energy density and characteristics similar to coal. Furthermore, torrefied biomass pellets will save transportation expenses on average. Currently, torrefied pellet technology is still in its early stages of development.

The Union Ministry of Power has set up the National Mission for the Use of Biomass in Thermal Power Plants (Mission SAMARTH), which mandates 5-10 per cent biomass co-firing in all coal-fired thermal power plants across the country. Biomass co-firing in power plants was also included in the Union Budget Speech for 2022 as a key tool for reducing carbon emissions and generating income for farmers.

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