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Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan laid the foundation stone for the waste-to-energy plant at Brahmapuram six months ago but the project has two major hurdles before it including obtaining an environment clearance and inking of power purchase agreement. According to Kochi corporation authorities, it is the responsibility of Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) to secure all the necessary permits for the project.
Though Kerala State Electricity Regulatory Commission (KSERC) has fixed Rs 6. 17 as the tariff per unit for KSEB to purchase electricity from the proposed waste-to-energy plant, the details of power purchase agreement between the two entities is yet to be worked out. “We expect to sign the power purchase agreement in a few days. The negotiation with KSEB is on,” said an official with GJ Eco Care, the private firm which is to construct the plant.
Another important nod which is pending is environmental clearance for the project. “There was delay on part of the state government in reconstituting the State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). Now, it has been constituted and we expect the agency to provide environmental clearance soon,” said a GJ Eco Care official.
Kochi corporation has already handed over 20 acres of land at Brahmapuram to GJ Eco Care Private Limited. “Once we get the environmental clearance, we will start land filling works,” the official said. Though major portion of 20 acres earmarked for the project was wetland, where construction is not allowed, the government gave exemption.
The plan is to complete the Rs 295 crore waste-to-energy plant in two phases. A plant to process the garbage and produce refuse derived fuel (RDF) in the form of bricks would be set up in the first phase. As per the original schedule, the construction of the plant to treat garbage should have been completed by January 2019. Once approvals are ready, it will take ten months to complete the construction of the first phase. In the second phase, the gasification plant to generate energy from the RDF will be constructed.
The promoters of the project envisage that 85% of the total revenue can be generated from electricity produced at the plant. The plant has a capacity to treat 300 tonnes to 500 tonnes of waste a day. As of now, the quantum of garbage transported to Brahmapuram from areas under Kochi Corporation and neighbouring local bodies per day is around 250 tonnes.
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