Putting city's garbage heaps to better use

NEW AVENUES: UNIDO representative Walter Danner exploring the biomass energy potential of the garbage heaps at the Kureepuzha dump yard in Kollam city on Monday.  

Staff Reporter

KOLLAM: The garbage generated in Kerala is a goldmine of biomass energy having tremendous potential for electricity generation and rich manure. That could well be the conclusion of a team, sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), currently in the State to study whether garbage problem could be overcome through a biomass energy solution.

If things progress as expected, the UNIDO may soon support the commissioning of three biomass energy plants in Kerala. The study team is led by Walter Danner, biomass energy expert from Germany. The other members of the team are Joseph O. Mathews, former Transitional Corporation Affairs Officer of the United Nations Conference of Science and Technology for Development, and V.K. Damodaran, managing director of the International Network on Small Hydro Power.

After studying the garbage generation of several municipal and Corporation areas in the State, the team is convinced about the biomass energy generation potential of the garbage heaps.

The team was in Kollam on Monday and it visited the Kureepuzha garbage dump yard, several municipal markets and an abattoir. After the visit, the team held talks with Labour Minister and Kollam MLA, Babu Divakaran, and Kollam Mayor N. Padmalochanan.

Talking to presspersons here, Mr. Danner said that the team's mission is two-pronged - to produce biomass energy from garbage, convert it to electricity and at the same time get rid of the garbage problem.

He said that electricity can be generated from biomass energy and that there are 4,000 such plants in Germany converting all types of waste into energy and manure.

Prof. Damodaran said that from the conclusions drawn so far, the idea is to commission three plants in the State to start with.

But the location of the plants would be identified later. The plants will be specifically designed for treating Kerala waste. The aim is to produce electricity and manure.

The design is already in place and if some minor adjustments, if required, would be made.

Mr. Danner will provide the technological advice required. He said that experiences with the German biomass energy plants show that the manure produced from these plants were extremely rich.

On Wednesday, Mr. Danner will make a presentation on the outcome of his study in Kerala. The presentation will be made at the Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation office. Following this he will submit a detailed report to the UNIDO.

It will be based on this report that the UNIDO will take a decision on supporting the biomass energy plants in the State.