Touted to be one of the biggest projects of its kind in the country, the Narela waste-to-energy plant (a 24-MW project), has been finally commissioned in Delhi. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has collaborated with private partner Ramky Solid Waste Management Solutions for this project.
Based on the public-private partnership mode, the project has an extendable concession period of 20 years. The total cost of the project is Rs 400 crore, and it has been funded by a consortium of banks led by IndusInd Bank.
The RDF technology
Delhi MSW Solutions Ltd — a subsidiary of Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd of Hyderabad — has set up the municipal waste refuse-derived fuel-based energy plant for treating 1,200 tonnes per day with a capacity of 24 MW at Bawana Industrial area, Delhi, under concession agreement with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
The project is a first-of-its-kind in India — it deploys multiple processes like composting, refuse derived fuel (RDF) and thermal processing of waste to achieve the objective of conserving the landfill resources.
The technology has been sourced from Sanfeng Covanta, which is a Sino-US joint venture. The project deploys reciprocating grate technology with a flue gas treatment process of semi-dry type, using lime slurry and activated carbon to neutralise the acidic emissions, to comply with the norms prescribed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.
How does the RDF process help in generating electricity from waste? According to Ramky, using the regular process, the resulting residue measures up to 25 per cent of the waste. However, the RDF technology reduces the residue to 5-10 per cent.
Meanwhile, a GPS system to monitor cleaning and transportation of garbage to the landfill sites will be provided, so that anyone can upload photographs of the same. Residents will be able to keep a check on cleanliness of their area online. Possibilities are also being explored to see if ash can be used to make roads and bricks.
According to NDMC officials, the project is an essential urban solid waste management infrastructure facility which can be replicated by all urban metro cities in India. It gives a productive solution to the issue of mounting solid waste across urban India, by not only disposing the same in an environmentally benign manner, but also enabling the generation of clean and renewable energy.
The waste-to-energy sector has received a fillip with the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission according a generic tariff to this sector. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan places a much desired emphasis on the sector, and it is up to urban local bodies to take advantage of the policy changes in this sector.