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Combined heat-power plant mooted for Tirupur cluster

G. Gurumurthy

Coimbatore , July 28

THE Textile Ministry's Textiles Committee and Ecosmart, the environment services body floated by IL&FS, will initiate a dissemination meet in Tirupur on Thursday on the feasibility of a combined heat and power (CHP) plant.

The focus will be on a cost-effective electrical and steam energy alternative for the Tirupur-based wet-processors looking for cheaper energy sources.

The concept meet will unveil debate on the techno-economic feasibility for establishing the CHPs as common energy facility points for group of wet-processing units.

It will be held in the form of a workshop and will seek views of the Tirupur industry on the scope of setting up CHPs in the backdrop of a survey done sometime ago by Ecosmart in specified textile units in and around Tirupur.

The survey carried out between December 2003 and February 2004 that covered a total of 96 units largely engaged in dyeing and allied processing works in Veerapandi and Karaipudur areas of Tirupur will form the focal point for the CHP plant models for Tirupur units which largely use both the thermal and electrical energies for running units and also for direct wet processing operations.

The Ecosmart's initial study into Tirupur wet-processing industry, according to a Textiles Committee's communication, had noted that the combined electrical energy demand for the 96 units was around 6 MW, most being LT consumers and getting grid power from the State electricity board whose fixed power cost remained at Rs 4.80 per kWh. These units' thermal energy demand remained low and dispersed over a large area.

Of the 96, only 66 units did have thermal energy demand but they are equipped with old and inefficient low-pressure broilers. The average cost of steam generation ranges between Rs 450 and Rs 550 per tonne of steam.

The study also pointed out that due to the technical barriers that may crop up in transportation of steam energy beyond 500 mtrs by pipeline, it will be advisable to establish CHP plants for a small group of about 15 or 20 industries, instead of the initially envisaged concept of having a single CHP plant that could service the entire 96 units.

The study has highlighted that through these group CHP plants, it is feasible to bring down the cost of electricity to Rs 3.25 per kWh and the saturated steam at Rs 350 per tonne and the cost viability could be further enhanced if these projects get government grants.

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