NTPC asks Indian startups to produce torrefied biomass pellets

01 May 2022

National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) to produce torrefied biomass pellets from Indian startups.

Through its research and development (R&D) wing, the network for space object tracking and analysis (NETRA), NTPC intends to provide a platform for Indian startups to develop advanced technology for producing torrefied biomass pellets for decentralised small-scale users. The deadline for the submission is 19 May 2022.

India produces around 230 million metric tonnes of biomass annually, either wasted or burnt. Biomass in power plants can reduce carbon footprint in the environment.

NTPC has been a pioneer in co-firing biomass in its coal power plants. Since its co-firing, NTPC has been strengthening the entire biomass sector value chain in various dimensions. Many NTPC plants have already started the requisite co-firing biomass pellets with coal. Long-term procurement has not been initiated in many plants.

Till now, the focus has been on non-torrefied biomass pellets. But, for bulk utilisation, torrefied biomass pellet production needs to be given importance, as it has more energy density with similar characteristics to coal.

The torrefied biomass pellets will reduce average transportation costs. Currently, the technology for torrefied pellets is still in the nascent stage of development.

The Ministry of Power (MoP) has set up the National Mission for using biomass in thermal power plants, Mission SAMARTH. It has mandated 5-10% co-firing of biomass in all coal-based thermal power plants in India. Biomass co-firing in power plants has also been included in the Budget 2022 for reducing carbon emissions and generating income for the farmers.

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Also read: Govt takes steps towards biomass use in coal-based TPPs

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