These pellets are widely employed by power plants for co-firing because they have a higher energy density and features that are similar to coal.

NTPC wants to provide a platform for Indian startups to develop innovative technology for creating torrefied biomass pellets that are well-suited for decentralized small-scale customers through its R&D branch, NETRA. The proposals titled “Torrefied Pellet Manufacturing Plant for Agri-Waste” must be submitted by May 19, 2022.

India produces 230 MMTA of biomass, which is either squandered or burned. Biomass co-firing in power plants is a crucial method for dealing with this problem and lowering carbon emissions. Biomass co-firing in coal-fired power plants was pioneered by NTPC. Since implementing co-firing, NTPC has been working to boost the entire Biomass sector value chain in a variety of ways.

Many NTPC units have already begun the required biomass pellet co-firing with coal. For several plants, long-term procurement has also begun.

Until far, the emphasis has primarily been on non-torrefied biomass pellets. Torrefied biomass pellet manufacture, on the other hand, must be prioritized for bulk biomass consumption.

Furthermore, torrefied biomass pellets will save transportation expenses on average. Currently, torrefied pellet technology is still in its early stages of development.

The Union Ministry of Power established the National Mission for the Use of Biomass in Thermal Power Plants (Mission SAMARTH), which mandates 5-10% biomass co-firing in all coal-fired thermal power plants across the country. Biomass co-firing in power plants was also included in the Union Budget Speech for 2022 as a key technique for reducing carbon emissions and generating money for farmers.

The move by NTPC is expected to strengthen the company’s commitment to developing the country’s biomass ecosystem, as well as provide a unique platform for Indian startups to help realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat and contribute to the ambitious Make in India initiative.