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InfraCo Asia Signs Agreement for 12MW Biomass Project in Madhya Pradesh, India

PTI | Jabalpur | Updated: 15-05-2019 15:32 IST | Created: 15-05-2019 15:04 IST
InfraCo Asia Signs Agreement for 12MW Biomass Project in Madhya Pradesh, India
Image Credit: Wikipedia

Once in operation, the Jabalpur Biomass Power Plant will be the first biomass plant in Madhya Pradesh with a captive fuel source.

InfraCo Asia Development Pte. Ltd. (InfraCo Asia), part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), today announced the signing of a Joint Investment and Development Agreement (JIDA) with Real Energy & Infrastructure Private Limited (REIL) for the development of a 12MW biomass-based power plant in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India. This will be InfraCo Asia's first biomass project in India.

As part of a policy to encourage the development of biomass-based power projects, the Madhya Pradesh State Government will allocate 750 acres of leased land for the energy plantation for the Jabalpur Biomass Power Plant. 250 acres of this land has already been allocated to REIL. The Project implementation will be managed by Equicap Asia, InfraCo Asia's contracted Developer Team for South Asia, and REIL.

As a commercial-scale producer of forestry biomass that relies on surplus agricultural residue collection, the power plant will be a 'first-of-its-kind' biomass power project development in India. It will include a dedicated, sustainable energy plantation, with agricultural biomass sourced from local farmers through modern, mechanised methods and practices. It is hoped that successful implementation of the Jabalpur Biomass Power Plant will lead to a 'demonstration effect' that opens new pathways to more private sector investment in fuel-assured biomass power plants in India. Additionally, such projects can serve as an alternative for disposing of post-harvest agricultural waste residue, which is typically burned but can instead be used as a source of biomass fuel.

Once in operation, the plant will tap into the vast potential for biomass power plant development in both Madhya Pradesh and India as a whole. Current total installed biomass capacity in Madhya Pradesh is 43MW, but the state has the potential to generate in excess of 3.1GW of power from biomass fuel. At the national level, India has set a target of 175GW in new renewable capacity by 2022, including a contribution of 10GW from biomass-based power generation. The country's estimated biomass potential stands at 18GW when agricultural residues – like the kind that will be used as a source of fuel for the Jabalpur Biomass Power Plant – are taken into account.

InfraCo Asia, CEO, Allard Nooy said, "By investing in the Jabalpur Biomass Power Plant, InfraCo Asia aims to serve as a catalyst for future biomass power development in India. We believe there is significant potential for greater private sector investment in this space, and InfraCo Asia's involvement in the project is aimed at helping to demonstrate this opportunity for private sector investors. In partnership with REIL, we look forward to bringing to life a biomass power plant that will set new standards for both securing raw materials and providing sustainable investment for a significant market opportunity."

REIL Shareholder Partner, Ashish Ahuja, said, "The Jabalpur Biomass Power Plant will be the first project in Madhya Pradesh under the 2012 biomass policy, which incentivises captive sourcing of forestry biomass. We will employ innovative, modern forestry biomass cultivation practices to produce biomass fuel. We also propose to invest in modern post-harvest practices to handle agricultural waste from participating farms. In doing so, we will not only prevent field burning of agricultural waste residue but also help reduce pollution caused by such burning. From a social and community impact perspective, contributing fuel to the Jabalpur Biomass Power Plant will help train farmers in new collection practices and spur entrepreneurship in the area surrounding the project site. Through REIL's involvement, we aim to set new benchmarks in biomass power development."

About InfraCo Asia

1. InfraCo Asia Development Pte. Ltd. (InfraCo Asia) is a commercially managed infrastructure development and investment company of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG).

2. Headquartered in Singapore, InfraCo Asia stimulates greater private sector investment in infrastructure in the south and South-East Asia. InfraCo Asia funds high-risk infrastructure development activities by taking an equity stake with a focus on socially responsible and commercially viable infrastructure projects that contribute to economic growth, social development and poverty reduction. At the appropriate time, either as close as possible to financial close and/or a commercial operation, InfraCo Asia aims to (partially or fully, as appropriate) exit each project. It does this through the sale of its stake to the private sector in order to catalyse private sector investment and participation into the projects and countries it is engaged with.

3. InfraCo Asia is currently funded by four members of PIDG – the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands (DGIS), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

4. Equicap, the outsourced developer for InfraCo Asia in south Asia, originates, develops and finances infrastructure projects in South Asia on behalf of InfraCo Asia.

5. The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) is an innovative infrastructure development and finance organisation which encourages and mobilises private investment in pioneering infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia to promote economic development and combat poverty. PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 170 infrastructure projects to financial close and provided 231 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by six governments (UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany) and the IFC.

For more information, please visit www.infracoasia.com and www.pidg.org.

About Real Energy & Infrastructure Private Limited (REIL)

Real Energy & Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. (previously known as Real Energy & Infrastructure Ltd) was incorporated in India with the main objective of electric power generation. REIL has registered under the Policy for Implementation of Biomass-based electricity (Power) Project in Madhya Pradesh, 2011 for establishing & implementing a 12MW grid-connected Biomass Power Project based on (i) surplus agri-residue biomass available in project vicinity; and (ii) cultivation of forestry biomass on leased non-forest wasteland to be provided by the Government as per policy.



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