U.S. firm to build environment-friendly power plant in Bihar

Wednesday, 18 December 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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PATNA: An American company is keen to invest in Bihar's power sector by setting up a $129 million environment-friendly project for generating power from garbage.

A senior energy department official said officials of the Georgia-based Enviro Plasma Technologies Inc. who visited Bihar last week had shown interest in setting up a small unit for generating 30 MW of power in Patna.

Bihar energy minister Shakeel Ahmad Khan told IANS that Thomas Kremser, a top executive of the company, had submitted a report on the proposed project.

Although Enviro Plasma Technologies is based in the U.S., the officials who visited Bihar were from Germany, where it has an office to coordinate its operations in Europe.

Enviro Plasma Technologies has said it plans to finance the project on its own and urged the Bihar government to issue a letter of intent.

Khan said the state government would study the proposal. "We are not in a hurry. We will look into it from all aspects."

The company's officials claimed the power plant, if the Bihar government accepted their proposal, would be first of its kind in Asia.

There are three or four plants generating power from garbage and waste in European countries, including Sweden and Norway.

The Bihar government plans to send a team to Sweden and Norway to study environment-friendly power projects built there by Enviro Plasma Technologies.

The company's proposal envisages the construction of two power generating plants, two sorting plants, three compost plants and one waste collection centre at an estimated cost of $129 million.

Energy department officials here said the proposed plant would benefit Patna in two ways -- by helping to overcome power shortages and by cleaning the city through the collection of garbage and waste for generating power.

Officials in the Patna Municipal Corporation said the city of nearly two million people generates some 2,000 tonnes of garbage a day, of which nearly 1,000 tonnes are left unattended due to shortage of manpower.

Enviro Plasma Technologies' proposal says it needs about 700-800 tonnes of garbage to generate 30 MW of power a day.

The overall power scenario in Bihar too is bleak. Although the state consumes over 700 MW daily, its two outdated power units -- Barauni Thermal Power Stations and Muzaffarpur Thermal Power Station -- generate less than 100 MW.

During the last summer, Patna faced huge power shortages as only 70-80 MW of power was available against a demand of 300 MW.

The energy department officials, however, noted that Enviro Plasma Technologies had not specified the rates at which it proposed to sell power to the state.
Source: IANS
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