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Biomass Energy and Rice perfect partners as Electricity Costs rise in India

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A number of Agricultural Companies and Green Utilities are focusing on setting up biomass plants in different places in India.Note Biomass Energy accounts for almost 20-30% of the Energy Requirements of the country and is the main source of energy for most of the rural communities for cooking and heating.Biomass Energy is best suited where Crop and Animal Residue are cheaply available.Most of India’s Biomass Power Plants have been built by companies involved in agri industries particularly sugar.Now Rice Companies are finding Biomass Energy perfect for their needs as they generate huge amounts of waste Rice Husk which can be used to generate electricity for their inhouse needs as well as for sale to the power grid.Note on top of this,Rice Biomass Electricity is also eligible for Subsidies from the State Governments.Haryana is seeing a surge in Rice based Electricity Plants with 16 MW installed already.Note Haryana is one of the top agri states in India alongwith Punjab and provides a lot of potential.Note a number of Rice Companies such as Lakshmi Energy and Foods have made Biomass Electricity a key part of their growth strategies even changing their names.Here are a couple of Rice Companies with aggressive Biomass Electricity Plans.

LT Foods – This is also a well known rice producer and refiner with well known brands.It is similar in profile to Lakshmi Energy and Foods and plans to set up a 5 MW plant in Punjab with more investment in further expansion.

Lakshmi Energy and Foods is engaged in manufacturing and processing food grains and related products. The product includes rice, basmati rice (branded as Lakshmi Foods), parmal rice, rice bran edible oil, wheat flour, de-oiled cake, refined oils, and cattle feed (branded as Heera Moti). It also has 30MW biomass-based power generation business using rice husk as fuel.The company plans to expand this capacity to 105 MW.Note the company is trading at extremely low valuations and is traded on the Indian stock exchange

Rice processors in Haryana run captive power plants

Rice processors in Haryana are all set to have hassle-free operations from this year as many of the units have commissioned their own captive power plants run on biomass.According to the information obtained from Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (Hareda) five new projects of 11 Mw capacity have been commissioned last month.The promoters get a subsidy of Rs 20 lakh per megawatt or a maximum of Rs 5 crore from the Centre for such projects.

The production manager of Shri Vishnu Overseas Private Limited, Kaithal told that they draw power at 4.40 paise per unit from the grid and spend about Rs 10 per unit on power generated in-house from generator sets. The cost of power from biomass is about Rs 2.40 per unit, he added.Amit Jain of Best Food International, Karnal who recently commissioned a 4 Mw plant told that they were already burning husk to get steam for paddy processing so only a turbine had to be added for power generation.


Abhishek Shah

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