Today it was announced that Clenergen Corporation India Private Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Clenergen Corporation, has agreed on the terms to acquire a 1.5MW/Hr biomass power plant in Namakkal, Tamilnadu, which will be operational by yearend 2009.
Recognized as one of India’s National Demonstration Projects, the plant was shut down in 2007 due to operational cash flow constraints and its inability to remain profitable at a low tariff rate. However, under a Power Purchase Agreement between Power Trading Corporation of India Limited (PTC) and Clenergen India Private Limited, a higher tariff rate has now been agreed.
The unit is expected to generate net revenue of approximately US$1 million in its first year of operation. During the first phase of its operations in India, Clenergen will ramp up the capacity of this power plant to 10MW/Hr while installing two new biomass power projects: a 16MW/Hr in Tuticorin Tamilnadu and a 64MW/Hr in Karnataka. The total project cost of the new plants has been estimated at US$236 million.
Clenergen’s Tuticorin power plant is expected to be in commercial operation sometime in the last quarter of 2010. The company is proposing to raise US$83 million in equity financing from the Indian stock markets. The 16MW/Hr power plant will require 4,000 acres of land to cultivate biomass feedstock required for its 24/7 operation, of which 800 acres has already been secured under sublease. Until the cultivated feedstocks reach first harvest, local supplies of wood chips will be contracted.
Clenergen also announced that it has identified an efficient system of power generation using gasification technology/gas turbines generators and power generation through Pyrolisis/steam turbine generators. These systems can produce power, steam, hydrogen, chemicals and other important products through advanced gasification and Pyrolisis/combustion steam technologies. The company also produces high-density, short-rotation biomass crops on a commercial scale at a cost of production equivalent to or less than the price of coal (measured in energy terms – MMBtu) using a proprietary integrated farming model.
Announcing the company’s plans for India here at a press conference, Dr. Arvind Pandalai, Non Executive Group Chairman, said, “The Namakkal unit, which is entirely carbon neutral, successfully demonstrated the ‘anaerobic digestive technology’ to process agri-biomass to renewable energy. The unit has already been assessed for carbon credits.”
Dr Pandalai added, “Clenergen new biomass power plants at Tamil Nadu and Karnataka will be based on the feedstock of `Beema Bamboo’, a grass species, and `Marjestica’, a micro propagated species of Paulownia native to China and parts of Asia. The company has partnered with Growmore Biotech Limited, Hosur, for the production and supply of the micro propagated Beema Bamboo. Additionally, Clenergen has licensed a Tree Adaption Process that increases the growth rate of Majestica by up to 40% and will be conducting field trials of the improved strain in Tamilnadu in the first quarter 2010.
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