NTPC Invites Bids for Procurement of Biomass Pellets to Co-Fire Thermal Power Plants

In order to combat air pollution caused due to burning of crop residue on farmlands, state-owned NTPC has invited bids for procurement of biomass pellets for its various thermal plants on the basis of Domestic Competitive Basis (DCB).

September 28, 2020. By Manu Tayal

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In order to combat air pollution caused due to burning of crop residue on farmlands, state-owned NTPC has invited bids for procurement of biomass pellets for its various thermal plants on the basis of Domestic Competitive Basis (DCB).

The power producer has envisaged consumption of 5 million tonnes of pellets in the current year at its 17 power plants including NTPC Korba (Chhattisgarh), NTPC Farakka (West Bengal), NTPC Dadri (Uttar Pradesh), NTPC Kudgi (Karnataka), NTPC Sipat (Chhattisgarh), and NTPC Rihand (Uttar Pradesh).

According to the company, it had first undertaken this unique initiative on pilot basis in 2017 for biomass co-firing by replacing some of the coal with pellet based fuel at NTPC Dadri, Uttar Pradesh.

Post successful implementation, the company now plans to replicate the model in 17 of its state of the art plants. The invitation for bids would be done through e-tendering at SRM Portal.

Moreover, the bidding process will be followed by the Single Stage, Two Envelope Bidding System.

The company is confident that co-firing will also help create large scale rural employment opportunities in processing as well as supply chain for biomass.

Adding to it, the power producer will provide preference to bidders from the states of Punjab and Haryana.

Also, the bidders need to notify the company about the relevant provisions of the bidding documents before submitting their bids. The power producer had fired 100 tonne of agro residue based pellets at Dadri, UP in 2017.

Besides, the test-firing was carried out in 4 phases, with gradual increase in percentage of firing from 2.5 per cent to 10 per cent along with coal. Till date, NTPC has fired over 7,000 tonne of agro residue pellets, the company said.

As per estimates, about 145 MMTPA of crop residue remains unutilised and most of it is burnt in India in the open fields, creating severe air pollution that leads to health issues. Open burning of agro residue is considered a major contributor to the surge in PM 2.5 in Northern India in post-harvesting season.

With its gross calorific value comparable to the bituminous coal, the power generation potential of the entire 145 MMTPA biomass burnt through co-firing in coal-based power plants is equivalent to 28,000-30,000 MW of round the clock generation of renewable power which can produce the same amount of electrical energy as can be produced from solar capacity of 125,000-150,000 MW.

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