BATHINDA: Aiming to use paddy straw and agriculture waste to produce animal feed and coal, the Punjab government has decided to attract private investment in the state in the coming two years. The state government is working to woo private players in setting up 160 biomass processing plants in the state.
The foundation stone of the first such plant was laid by Punjab finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal at Mehma Sarja village on Sunday. He said the state government had tied up with industrialists to set up 160 biomass plants, which will be beneficial in making farmers not only make best use of paddy straw and agriculture waste, but also earn money. “With it, the environment will also become clean,” he mentioned.
The minister said the state was expecting an investment of Rs 10,000 crore through 160 biomass plants. These plants will provide employment opportunities to around 50,000 people directly and indirectly. The plant at Mehma Sarja being set up by Neway Renewable Energy Limited is expected to commence its operation from August 2018. The plant will buy straw and agriculture waste from farmers to convert it into coal. The coal will be sold to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
Manpreet said besides that the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) was also working on supplying CNG gas for vehicles. He said Erika company from England was working on production of bioethanol from straw. Bhucho MLA Pritam Singh Kotbhai, Neway Renewable Energy Ltd chairman Abdul Samad Melath, managing director K Aiyyappan and Bathinda ADC Sakshi Sawheny were also present on the occasion.