Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd (RSIL), India’s largest edible oil player, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thermax Ltd, a leading company in energy and environment solutions, to set up a one megawatt fluidised bed biomass gasification plant, laying the foundation for large-scale commercialisation of biomass power in the country. The proposed plant is set to come at Ruchi’s Washim unit in Maharashtra.
“This project will not only help us in utilisation of biomass at the Ruchi Soya crushing plant at Washim but also generate additional income for the local community. Biomass, which is not useful as animal feed, can be used in this power-generation project,” said Dinesh Shahra, MD, RSIL.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, with assistance from the United Nations Development Program and the Global Environment Fund, runs programmes aimed at accelerating adoption of environmentally sustainable biomass power technologies by removing the barriers identified. The one-megawatt fluidised bed biomass gasification plant to be set up by Ruchi Soya at its Washim unit in Maharashtra will act as a model investment project. The plant will be executed by Pune based Thermax on the technology acquired from the Energy Research Centre and Dahlman, Netherlands.
The proposed gasification system will have higher conversion efficiency (more than 95 per cent) as compared to 80-85 per cent of the existing gasification systems. An advanced gas cleanup system will overcome the existing barriers such as non availability of proven single module of gasifier and gas clean up unit of capacity one MW or above. It will generate operating data required for standardization and act as input for determining a separate tariff and demonstration of tri –generation. This plant will also help in demonstrating biomass gasification technology for generation of grid quality power.
The Ministry has a wide range of programs for harnessing energy as well as grid interactive and off grid power from biomass which is renewable in nature and carbon neutral. It has potential to provide large productive employment in rural areas using commercially available thermal and biological conversion technologies. A cumulative generation capacity of over 3700 MW through biomass power including bagasse cogeneration has been so far established in India. The project by Ruchi is designed to address the barriers which impede deployment of large-scale biomass projects in India.