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Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd (RSIL), India’s largest edible oil player, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thermax Ltd to set up a one megawatt fluidised bed biomass gasification plant, laying the foundation for large-scale commercialisation of biomass power in the country. The proposed plant is set to come at Ruchi’s Washim unit in Maharashtra.

The project will use any waste biomass from the crushing plant that cannot be used as animal feed.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, with assistance from the United Nations Development Program and the Global Environment Fund, runs programmes aimed at accelerating adoption of environmentally sustainable biomass power technologies by removing the barriers identified. The one-megawatt fluidised bed biomass gasification plant to be set up by Ruchi Soya at its Washim unit in Maharashtra will act as a model investment project. The plant will be executed by Pune based Thermax on the technology acquired from the Energy Research Centre and Dahlman, Netherlands.

What is interesting to me is that this is not a downdraft gasification that most biomass gasification power plants use in the country, but is a fluidized bed gasification system.

The proposed gasification system will have higher conversion efficiency (more than 95 per cent) as compared to 80-85 per cent of the existing gasification systems. An advanced gas cleanup system will overcome the existing barriers such as non availability of proven single module of gasifier and gas clean up unit of capacity one MW or above. It will generate operating data required for standardization and act as input for determining a separate tariff and demonstration of tri –generation. This plant will also help in demonstrating biomass gasification technology for generation of grid quality power.

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