Special purpose vehicle formed to promote the venture

Our Bureau

Proposals in sight

The SEZ

will house industrial R&D units, laboratories such as CPRI, testing units, educational and vocational training centres.

Industrial parks,

convention centres and a logistics and transportation zone will be considered later

Chennai, July 13

The Union Government will set up a special economic zone (SEZ) for manufacturing and testing renewable energy equipment. A special purpose vehicle (SPV) has been formed to promote this venture.

The SPV - Future Energy Zone India Ltd (FEZ) - has been promoted by Malavalli Power Plant and European investors, said Mr K. Krishnan, Chairman, Malavalli Power Plant. The SEZ will house industrial R&D units, laboratories such as CPRI, testing units, educational and vocational training centres. Besides, an area for vendors will also come up.

Later, industrial parks, convention centres and a logistics and transportation zone will be considered, said Mr Krishnan. He said Chennai and other port cities such as Visakhapatnam were being considered as possible sites for the SEZ. "We have spoken to SIPCOT and TIDCO (both Tamil Nadu Government agencies responsible for industrial promotion) and the response has been positive", he said.

Mr V. Balasubramanian, Secretary, Union Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources, told

Business Line

that two private sector proposals for special economic zones had been approved, one each in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Sources in the industry say proposals have also come from the Mangalore-Udipi region and Nagpur.

Depending on the demand, four more such SEZs may be set up over the next two-three years. "Distributive energy generation is the future. We are now looking at matching local load requirements with locally available energy resources," said Mr Krishnan.

The Centre has commissioned pilot projects of 30 MW in Karnataka and 10 MW in Punjab to be run on biomass fuel. General Electric will partner the venture. A Biomass Gassifier will also be pilot tested by the Indian Institute of Science and Ankur Scientifc Energy Technologies. The Government also plans to generate electricity through renewable energy sources in about 2,500 remote villages that cannot be part of grid power generation.

Addressing `Green Power 2006,' a two-day national conference-cum-exposition on renewable energy organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Mr Vilas Muttemwar, Union Minister for Non-Conventional Energy Sources, said they would focus on 100 large municipalities to generate over 1,000 MW of energy each using municipal waste.

A seminar, which began on Thursday, will focus on opportunities in renewable energy and allied areas. Green Power 2006 is the fifth edition of this seminar and aims at promoting business opportunities and attracting funding from corporates for green projects. Other areas of focus for the seminar are the need for a renewable energy law, priority sector status for renewable energy sector and innovative financing mechanisms for green projects.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 14, 2006)
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