New Delhi, May 1 (PTI) State-run power giant NTPC has invited bids from the country’s startups for the production of torrefied biomass pellets.

Through its research and development wing NETRA, the NTPC intends to provide a platform to startups to enable them develop an advanced technology for producing torrefied biomass pellets that are well-suited for decentralised small-scale users.

The deadline for the submission of the proposals titled ‘torrefied pellet manufacturing plant for agri-waste’ is May 19, 2022, NTPC said in a statement.

The move is expected to reinforce NTPC’s commitment towards developing the biomass ecosystem in the country, and will provide a unique platform for the Indian startups to fulfill the prime minister’s vision of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ and also contribute towards the ambitious ‘make in India’ movement, the company said.

India produces around 230 MMTA of biomass that is either wasted or burnt. Biomass co-firing (using biomass as supplementary fuel to reduce the use of coal) in power plants has proved to be a major solution to this menace, thereby reducing carbon footprints in the environment.

Many of the NTPC plants have already started the requisite co-firing of biomass pellets with coal. Long-term procurement action has also been initiated for many plants.

Till now, the focus has been centred on non-torrefied biomass pellets. However for bulk utilisation of biomass, torrefied biomass pellet production needs to be given importance, as torrefied biomass pellet has more energy density, and its characteristics are closer to coal.

Further, torrefied biomass pellets will reduce average transportation costs.

Currently, the technology for torrefied pellets is still in the nascent stage of development.

The Union power ministry has set up the national mission for the use of biomass in thermal power plants (Mission SAMARTH), and mandated 5-10 per cent co-firing of biomass in all coal-fired thermal power plants in the country.

In the Union Budget 2022-23, the biomass co-firing in power plants has been recognised as an important tool for carbon reduction and income generation for farmers. PTI KKS HVA

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