NTPC will buy stubble for use in coal-based power plants
Power minister RK Singh said NTPC has agreed to mix 10% of fuel with hay/paddy pellets in its coal-based power plants. The state-owned power generation behemoth is expected to issue tenders to buy farm residue pellets in a few days. NTPC would pay Rs 5,500 for a tonne of such pellets. The minister said on an average, about two tonnes of farm residue can be accumulated from an acre of land, leading to an additional income of Rs 11,000 an acre for farmers.
The decision comes at a time when farmers in neighbouring states are being held responsible for the thick smog in the Capital, as they continue to traditionally burn agricultural residues after the harvest season.
The government hopes that farmers would be discouraged to burn stubble with the introduction of this incentive. The minister added that government agency Ireda would provide loans to build residue collection and pellet-making machines. The government clarified that the benefit of the policy will not be reaped in the current season as it will take some time to set up infrastructure to accommodate this new system. There will be no rise in fuel purchasing costs for NTPC, the minister clarified.