Millennium Post

Power dept looks to take up Finland's assistance for making waste-to-energy project a reality

Power dept looks to take up Finlands assistance for making waste-to-energy project a reality

Kolkata: The state Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources department is mulling the idea of taking technological assistance from Finland to create energy from waste. Finland utilises 99 percent of its waste for producing energy.

"Finland has evinced interest to help us in converting waste into energy. The matter has already been discussed with a delegation that attended the 5th edition of the two-day Bengal Global Business Summit last week," state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay said.

A senior official of the state Power department said that they will be sending a detailed proposal on the subject, on the basis of which more meetings will follow.

It may be noted that segregation of waste is a major problem in all urban local bodies in the state with no scientific mechanism for dumping biodegradable and non biodegradable wastes separately.

Plastic or paper waste cannot be converted into energy but vegetable wastes or similar other types of wastes can be utilised. But with the infrastructure for segregation at source still not in place, waste segregation is a tough task.

"We will progress slowly but are steadily analysing the pros and cons. There have been attempts by Kolkata Municipal Corporation as well as Howrah Municipal Corporation in this regard but success has not been tasted as yet," a senior official of the state Power department said.

Lack of space for dumping waste has been a serious issue faced by KMC for the last few years. The dumping ground at Dhapa is getting exhausted. The civic body has procured 20 acres of land from New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) at Chapna Mouza in Rajarhat. 14 acres of land will be used for dumping waste, while 6 acres will be utilised for the waste-to-energy project.

It may be mentioned that the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) had inked an MoU with Excel India in the early 1990s to produce power from garbage. The then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu had laid the foundation stone.

But the project could not take off as there was shortage of garbage. The experts said that KMC could not supply the quantity of garbage that is required to generate power.

Because of shrinkage in the dumping ground, KMC has introduced compactors where garbage is burnt and ashes are taken to the trenching ground. "To run any such plant, it will first have to be ensured that the stipulated quantity of garbage is supplied everyday and that will not be an easy task," experts said.

SOUMITRA NANDI

SOUMITRA NANDI

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