Kochi

Government okays lease model for waste-to-energy facility

GJ Eco Power’s proposal to set up treatment plant at Brahmapuram approved

The Government has issued an order converting the concessional agreement signed between the Kochi Corporation and GJ Eco Power Private Ltd., the company entrusted with the construction of the waste-to-energy plant at Brahmapuram, into a lease agreement.

The order issued by T.K. Jose, Additional Chief Secretary, and dated January 16, stated that the Government had annulled a decision taken by the Kochi Corporation council not to convert the pact into a lease agreement as per Section 57 (d) of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994.

The corporation has been asked to implement the decision taken by the State Level Advisory Committee (SLAC) chaired by Chief Secretary Tom Jose to convert the concessional agreement into a lease agreement.

The civic body had signed the concessional agreement to set up the plant in 20 acres near the now defunct solid waste management plant at Brahmapuram in 2016. The company had submitted a letter requesting that the pact should be converted into a lease agreement as banks would not provide loans for the project if it was not categorised as a lease agreement.

However, a meeting of the corporation council held on December 22, 2018 deferred it and suggested that the proposal be placed before it with the consent of the health standing committee.

A meeting of the committee held on March 25 last year decided not to consider the proposal by the SLAC. The council meeting held on April 29 ratified the decision taken by the committee and reported it to the Government.

Violation

The Government examined the council decision and quoted Section 57 (d) of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994, which stated that the Government could annul/amend the council resolution once it was found that its guidelines on plans, schemes, programmes, and conditions of grants were violated by local bodies.

The order said the Government had taken a policy decision to approve the project submitted by GJ Nature Care consortium to set up a waste-to-energy plant at Brahmapuram. The council decision has been cancelled as part of implementing the Government policy on municipal solid waste processing, it added.

Meanwhile, representatives of GJ Eco Power Ltd. said they were ready to receive municipal solid waste for the energy plant from February next year. “The process of bio-drying of waste after sorting recyclable items and treating them for obtaining refused derived fuel will be carried out till August. We expect to start power production by September,” they added. The Kerala State Electricity Board has agreed to purchase power generated by the 9.76-MW plant at the rate of ₹6.17 per unit for a period of 20 years from the commercial operation date.

According to the agreement, the Kochi Corporation will provide 300 metric tonnes of waste, including biodegradable and non bio-degradable waste, on a daily basis to the company.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 6:14:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/government-okays-lease-model-for-waste-to-energy-facility/article30655461.ece

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