Municipal Garbage to Power Haryana’s First Waste-to-Energy Plant

Dumping ground

A 5 MW power plant that will treat and use tonnes of municipal waste to generate electricity will be coming up in Haryana by late 2019. The plant will be located in the north Indian state’s Sonipat district. A concession agreement to the effect was recently signed between the State Government of Haryana and Gururgram-based JBM Group.

JBM Group will be developing the project at a cost of of Rs.1.76 billion ($26.46 million). A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), JBM Environment Management Pvt. Ltd, has been formed for the purpose.

There are plans to establish solid waste-to-energy and solid waste-to-compost plants in 15 different clusters in the state. A total of four waste-to-energy plants will be set-up.

Deployment of Two Technologies
JBM has engaged Poland-based EKOLOG Ltd, which has more than 30 years’ experience in operating integrated waste management systems globally. The Pila-headquartered firm specialises in plan development, collection of municipal solid waste, and construction of plants and installations for municipal solid waste segregation.

Two different technologies will be used in the plant. Electricity will be produced from organic waste material through the biomethanation process as well from Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). In addition to electricity, the other end products produced post-treatment will be recyclables and high-quality agriculture fertiliser.

Informed Robert Jans, Director, EKOLOG, “The main challenge for us is how we can implement our advanced technology in the Indian situation because there is substantial difference in the quality of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in Europe and India. It is perhaps the first project here that will combine two technologies parallelly for producing electricity because most existing projects here are focused on RDF.”

The power plant will be spread across nearly 19 acres area in at Murthal village for which land has already been allotted to the developer by the state government. The project will help dispose-off 500 tonnes of solid waste daily from the rapidly urbanising Sonipat Cluster, comprising of the towns of Sonipat, Panipat, Samalkha and Ganaur. Based on the 2011 census, the cluster has a combined population of 2.8 million.

Of late, there has been aggressive lobbying for inclusion of the cities of Sonipat and Panipat in the federal government’s smart cities programme from the state administration and industry.

Output Based Incentive
Another unique aspect of the project is the output based incentive that is part of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). For instance, bidding for some previous such projects in India, which were eventually unsuccessful, was based on the concept of a tipping fee. This meant that payment to a plant operator was determined on the basis of the total waste collected by it. According to experts in the field, the tipping fee can range from Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,900 per tonne in India, while the actual expenditure incurred by the operator is usually in the region of Rs 700 to Rs 800 per tonne.

Consequently, some unscrupulous operators were keen on collecting and dumping any waste materials, including construction waste, to maximise their earnings.

Speaking to the Smart Cities Council of India Anand Mohan Sharan, Principal Secretary, Directorate of Urban Local Bodies, Haryana claimed, “The advantage of this arrangement is that the operator will collect the best garbage of high calorific value since he will be paid for producing maximum electricity. Haryana is the first state in the country – and perhaps in the world – to implement this methodology.”

Nishant Arya, Executive Director, JBM Group said, “We have been earlier involved in solid waste management projects in Chennai and Ambattur. Therefore, we are getting into this project with ten years of experience behind us.”

Segregation of waste will be done at source. “We intend to educate area residents in segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste,” added Arya. JBM Group has interests in automotive components, engineering, design services, renewable energy and education.

Once completed, the plant will not only be the biggest in Haryana but will also be among the top five waste-to-energy facilities in the country.