Rs.350-crore facility will be capable of processing 500 tonnes of waste daily

Finally, the government has zeroed in on the technology to be adopted at the proposed solid waste treatment plant in Brahmapuram.

Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali told The Hindu on Monday that the new facility would adopt the waste-to-energy technology.

The government has been in a dilemma over the technology to be implemented in Brahmapuram and had held hectic consultations over the past several weeks.

Mr. Ali said that a Cabinet sub-committee decided to go for the waste-to-energy method at Brahmapuram based on the recommendations given by the R.V.G. Menon Committee that was entrusted with the task of studying advanced waste management technologies available in the country. The Minister said the new Brahmapuram plant would be similar to the proposed integrated municipal solid waste-to-energy facility at Chalai in Thiruvananthapuram.

He said the government would adopt the ‘Swiss challenge approach,’ a competitive bidding process, for constructing the plant. No bidder would have a predefined advantage in this process. It also provided companies with considerable incentives to propose new ideas.

The plant would be implemented under a DBFOT (design, build, finance, operate and transfer) pattern in the public-private participatory mode. As per the original project proposal, the plant, estimated to cost Rs. 350 crore, would be capable of processing 500 tonnes of waste daily.

The Hindu had earlier reported that the government had decided to adopt the Swiss challenge approach after the Department of Urban Affairs rejected the financial bid offered by three agencies that initially came forward to set up the waste-to-energy-based plant. A government committee had rejected the financial bids terming them as ‘unrealistic’. Mr. Ali said the companies had submitted an unscientific estimate of the electricity generation from the solid waste processed at the new plant.

The government would provide 10 acres near the now defunct plant of the Kochi Corporation at Brahmapuram for the new project. The government would have no financial obligation while the selected entity can decide on the quantum of investment.

As per the original project proposal, the operation of the plant will be bound under an agreement by which the energy generated will be added to the KSEB grid. The profit derived from generation of power will have to be shared between the operator and the government.

The Brahmapuram plant is among the three regional solid waste treatment facilities proposed to be established using a feasible technology model. The other two plants are proposed to be built in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.

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