10 MW biomass power plant operationalised in Punjab

Equipped with advanced Denmark Technology boilers, the biomass plant is designed to generate electricity using 100% paddy straw.

The state government of Punjab has announced the successful commissioning of a renovated Biomass Power Plant in Jalkheri village, Fatehgarh Sahib. The capacity of the biomass based plant is 10MW. Power Minister Harbhajan Singh ETO stated that the paddy straw-based Jalkheri plant would provide eco-friendly green power to the state.

Equipped with advanced Denmark Technology boilers, the biomass plant is designed to generate electricity using 100% paddy straw. Punjab has been struggling for long with the rampant stubble burning problem that contributes to the galloping pollution levels in the North Indian cities including Delhi-NCR region. Many of the cities even turn into gas chambers causing serious health problems to the residents.

The new state-of-the-art facility for biomass consumption will consume approximately 1 lakh tonnes of paddy straw annually, helping to curb stubble burning across nearly 50,000 acres in Punjab, according to ETO.

ETO also noted that this initiative would create direct and indirect employment for 400-500 individuals, thereby fostering economic growth in the region. The project offers multiple benefits, including environmental protection by reducing air pollution from paddy straw burning, supporting sustainable energy by decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, and effectively utilising the abundant paddy straw available in Punjab.

The power purchase agreement (PPA) for this plant is set for 20 years, starting from June 21 this year, after which the facility will be transferred to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL).

Previous Stints 

The 1x10MW Biomass Plant at Village Jalkheri (Dist. Fatehgarh Sahib), owned by PSPCL, was first commissioned in June 1992 and operated until July 1995. It was leased to M/s Jalkheri Power Plant Ltd (JPPL) in July 2001, recommissioned in July 2002, and ran until September 2007. In 2012, there were attempts to restart the project by licensing it to a private developer for a specified period. In 2018, the plant was re-tendered for lease on a ROT basis. The renovated plant was recommissioned on June 21, 2024, and has officially commenced operations.

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