UK-based firms GJ Nature Care & Energy (GJNCE) and GJ Eco Power (GJEP) plan to invest close to ₹1,500 crore over a period of five years in waste-to-energy projects across South Indian cities.

GJNCE has already won the global bid for the waste-to-energy project in Kochi under DBFOT (Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer) at an estimated outlay of ₹300 crore. While GJEP is responsible for capital investments and technology, the State Government and Kochi Corporation will supply municipal solid waste and buy back the power generated by the plant, Giby George, Managing Director, GJNCE, told reporters.

The company uses gassification process, a technology developed by Germany to process the waste, a proven model across the world with more than 2,000 plants. At present there are no such plants in India, he said adding, that discussions are on to set up projects in Chennai, Bengaluru, Madurai and Coimbatore.

It is estimated that 65 million tonnes of municipal solid waste and billions of litres of sewage are generated across the urban areas of the country, including large quantities of solid and liquid wastes.

Potential for power The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has assessed the potential of generating 1700 MW power from urban waste and 1300 MW from industrial waste. The 11th Five-Year Plan also targets 4,000 MW of power generation from wastes, he said.

The estimates of the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) indicate that India has so far realised only about 2 per cent of its waste to energy potential. This offers huge opportunity to proven technologies to enter India, he added.

To a question on Kochi project, George said 10 MW of power will be generated and will be sold at an average rate of ₹12-13 a unit. Asked about the revenue generation for the company, he said the assured return would be mainly from the sale of power followed by recycled material and value-added products by converting e-waste and plastic. However, there should be guaranteed waste supply by the authorities.

GJNCE has also been short-listed by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation to participate in the upcoming global tenders for MSW management in other cities in the State.