Business Standard 2009-07-30

Astonfield's Rs 600cr project bits land hurdle

West Bengal might just lose the Rs 600 crore Astonfield waste-to.-energy project if Kolkata Municipal Corporation fails to handover the 30 acres of land in Dhapa to Astonfield Renewable Resources by October this year:

Astonfield Renewable Re.sources Limited (ARRL), the pi.oneer in rimeW8bleenergy.proj.eets. planned to set up a 54 megawatt (Mw) waste-to-en.ergy plant in Dhapa. Over on an area of 30 acres out of a total site area or 186 hectares there.

ARRL was one of the seven applicants to get technical clear.ance two years back.

Two years have passed since then but the company is yet to get possession of the land and start the project work.

Soutabh Sen, co-chairman & director, Astonfield Man.agement Inc, an Astonfield group company, said "we have set a deadline of October: We hope to get possession of land by that time. If not. we would have to pull out. There are two out states who have evinced interests for the project," Veo.lia, the US-based technology partner for the project. has al.ready asked ARRL to shelve the project. ARRL has already in.vested close to Rs 14 crate, informed Sen.

Sen has taken up the issue with KMC and government officials but failed to make a break.through for the last two years.

He is expected to meet Tri.namool leader Mamata Baner.jee early next week in order to seek some help.

The plant is estimated to treat 4200 tonnes of waste per day, slightly higher than the total waste collection in the city which is around 3265 tonne per day.

At present there are two such waste-to-energy projects

In the a 37 Mw plant in Mumbai and 14 MW in Delhi. In a parallel development, AR.RL has recently entered into a 60:40 joint venture with ARE.VA Renewables.

"We had a technical part.nership for the last two years. For the first time. we are Coming into a jv to develop 100 Mw of biomass power plant across India in a phased manner,'" said Sen.

The approximate investment would be to the tune of Rs 550-600 crore, with Astonfield con.tributing 60 per cent and Are va 40 per cent. The first of this 100 Mw biomass project will come up in Gangarampur in North Bengal.

The company has around 26 acres of land on which a 10 mw plant will be built. Work on the plant is scheduled to be.gin in the last quarter of 2009.The bio-mass plant will he rice husk based. The company has tied up with 100 rice mills to supply around 3200 tonnes of rice husk per day.

Work on the 5 mw solar PV project in Bankura is underway, civil construction is on. ARRL is expected to get second allocation for another five Mw The company has a lot of projects in the pipeline· 600 Mw proj.ect in India, solar PV project make up for more, than half. bio.mass 30 per cent and rest is waste-to-energy. The company is looking at projects to cover offshore wind projects. tidal energy and concentrated solar panel projects.