Jabalpur Biomass Power

Unlocking the potential of grid-connected, biomass-based power generation in India, with a pioneering feedstock solution

Context

As the world’s second-largest producer of agricultural products, there lies much untapped potential for India to convert its agricultural residue to renewable energy via biomass-based power plants. In 2014, the government of India set the target for an additional 175 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2022, of which 10 GW is expected to come from biomass-based power generation.

At present, there is approximately 6 GW of biomass-based power generation capacity installed in India – only a third of the potential 18 GW of generation capacity estimated by its Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Resources, based on the volume of agricultural residue reported. The state of Madhya Pradesh has a rich variety of available biomass and is estimated to be able to support 3100 MW of biomass-based power generation, of which only 44 MW has been realised.

The performance of existing biomass-based power plant projects suffers from the lack of readily available supply due to seasonal harvests and limited storage options. As a result, most agricultural residue is disposed of through burning, releasing pollutants into the environment and creating health and safety hazards for the local farmers and communities. Poor perceptions surrounding the bankability of previous biomass-based power projects, have also limited access to mainstream financing for the development of biomass-based power plants.

Through the Jabalpur Biomass Power project, InfraCo Asia aims to support the development of India’s biomass-based power generation sector by modelling efficient biomass resource development and supply chain management. The Project will be implemented in accordance with international quality standards for environmental, health and safety practices. Successful implementation of the project is expected to renew interest in the biomass-to-power sector, and spur private sector investment in the development of biomass-based power plants.

The Project

The project is expected to provide 12 MW of grid-connected, biomass-based power generation capacity, based on two sources of feedstock – a dedicated feedstock resource of approximately 750 acres of agricultural and forestry plantations and agricultural residue from farms within a 50km radius of the power plant. The Jabalpur Biomass Power project is the first biomass-based power plant in India to have an inhouse fuel source developed alongside the power plant. This is expected to create a more efficient supply chain, whilst enabling the economic development of the rural farming community and region.

The cultivation of forestry biomass from wasteland, through the introduction of high-yield tree species, is also expected to demonstrate the benefits of scientific farming, encourage adoption of agricultural best practices and introduce modern, mechanised farming in the rural areas.

The project is estimated to create around 500 short-term jobs in the construction phase and 50 long-term jobs in the operation phase, providing critical opportunities for the training and skill development of women and youth in rural Madhya Pradesh, India. This looks to improve the employability of a vulnerable population and create additional avenues for income generation, such as through the purchase of crop stalks from the surrounding farming community. Energy generated by the 12MW power plant is expected to provide energy to ~100,000 people.

Project Overview
Company
Real Energy & Infrastructure Private Ltd
Country
India
Region
State of Madhya Pradesh
Sector
Power & Energy (Biomass)
Size
12MW
Status
Under development
Timeline

Expected to achieve Financial Close by May 2021

Total Project Cost
~US$ 18.6 million
Funding Committed
US$ 2.5 million
IAI Investment
N/A
Other Shareholder(s)
Ashish Ahuja Rakesh Ahuja
Suppliers

Development Impact

• ~100,000 people expected to gain improved access to energy
• Around 500 short-term jobs to be created in construction and 50 long-term jobs to be created in operation

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