U.S.-based group to construct Rs.65-crore plant

The State government on Friday inked a formal agreement with the U.S.-based Loro Group for the construction of a 35-tonne solid waste treatment facility at Chala.

With this, the decks have been formally cleared for the construction of the Rs.65-crore plant which is expected to produce 3.2 mega watts of power daily.

The power will be available to the State at Rs.7.90 per unit, a price which the government claims is among the lowest in the country.

Minister for Urban Affairs Manjalamkuzhi Ali told The Hindu that the Suchitwa Mission and the Loro Group signed the ‘concession agreement’ on Friday. “Everything is proceeding as per schedule and the foundation stone of the plant will be laid in November as announced earlier,” he said. The plant is expected to begin operations in March 2013.

Officials of the Suchitwa Mission said that the signing of the agreement, though a formality, was significant because it committed both groups to clearly defined deadlines, the violation of which would entail severe penalties.

“The first thing that the government has to do now is to clear the garbage dumped at the site of the proposed plant. This will be done soon. Then Loro Group can begin the construction,” an official said. According to the terms of the agreement, Loro Group will run the plant for 20 years and then hand it over to the government. The land on which the plant is being constructed would, however, remain with the government. The company will have to make a caution deposit of Rs.50 lakh and pay an annuity of Rs.7.2 lakh to the government. Two more such plants are scheduled to come up in the city.