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The project for co-generating electricity from sugarcane waste through smaller power plants at government sugar mills was conceived when the state was literally crippled due to power crisis. If completed on time, the 15MW power plants would have helped the electricity board a great deal. Even after six years, the co-generation plant at Alanganallur National Cooperative Sugar Mills, like many other plants in Tamil Nadu, is yet to commence power generation.
In 2010, the DMK regime had laid foundation stones for co-generation plants inside sugar mills in the state. The power plants were to utilise sugarcane waste from crushed canes during the crushing period and use coal when sugar mills are closed for maintenance. On an average, the sugarcane waste would have lasted to produce power for eight months.
As much as 110 crore was sanctioned for the construction of the power plants with a deadline of 18 months. If they were completed on time, they could have produced collectively 183MW power.
State president of Tamil Nadu sugarcane Farmers Association, N Palanisamy said that nearly 80% works have been completed in the power plant at Alanganallur and the remaining 20% of works need more fund. "Once completed, the power plant will be of great use. The excess power will be supplied to the power grid of the electricity board and the entire Madurai could be supplied electricity from the plant. sugarcane farmers will also benefit from the dividends of power generation," he told TOI.
Out of the 15MW power produced, the sugar mill will utilize 5MW for functioning and the rest will be given to the electricity board. During the non-crushing months, the entire power generated will be send to the grid.
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