NTPC has invited bids for procuring 1,000 metric tonnes per day of agro residue based fuel for its 2,650 mw Dadri power plant in the National Capital Region as part of initiatives to help clean air and provide farmers with an alternate to burning crop residues, a major contributor to pollution.
"After completing the initial phases of test firing of biomass based pellets, NTPC has invited bids to supply 1,000 metric tonnes per day of agro residue based fuel (500 metric tonnes per day of agro residue pellets and 500 metric tonnes per day of torrefied agro residue based pellets or briquettes)," a company spokesperson said .
The tender seeks supply for two years. A capping price of Rs 5,500 per metric tonne has been kept for agro residue based pellets and Rs 6,600 per tonne for pellets or briquettes of torrefied agro residue, the spokesperson said.
Open burning of biomass has been identified as one of the major cause of poor air quality in Northern India, especially in and around Delhi.
NTPC has initiated a programme to consume agro residue based fuel for firing in their power plants along with coal. Subsequently, the government has also come with an advisory to fire 5%-10% of agro residue based fuel in thermal power plants.
The spokesperson said firing agro reside based pellets along with coal is more economical and efficient than dedicated biomass plant and also avoids risk of loss of generation due to alternate fuel availability. As against solar and wind, biomass power can be scheduled as per load demand, eliminating indirect costs to handle variability of variable renewables, contributing to affordable power to all.
To attract start-ups and greater participation, NTPC has allowed participation of bidders without any prior experience.
The successful bidders will be required to deliver the material from September 2018. NTPC has divided the tender into smaller lots of 20 metric tonnes per day to encourage wider participation. A bidder can bid for maximum 12 lots.
Given the success of this tender NTPC is open to using agro residue in power plants across the country. "This can dramatically increase the share of renewable energy in the country, reducing carbon footprint of thermal power plants. The initiative would not only discourage infield crop burning abating pollution, but also create large scale rural employment opportunities in agro residue supply chain and its processing, “the spokesperson said.