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

GJNCE has won a global bid for a waste-to-energy project in Kochi under DBFOT (Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer) at an estimated outlay of ₹300 crore.

While GJEP would be responsible for capital investments and technology, the state government and Kochi Corporation would supply municipal solid waste and buy back the power generated at the plant, Giby George, Managing Director, GJNCE said.

The company uses the gassification process, a technology developed by Germany to process 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 in progress to set up waste-to-energy projects in Chennai, Bengaluru, Madurai and Coimbatore.

It is estimated that 65 million tonnes of MSW and billions of litres of sewage are generated across the urban areas of the country, including large quantities of solid and liquid waste. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has assessed the potential for generating 1700 MW of power from urban waste and 1300 MW from industrial waste. The 11th Five-Year Plan also targets 4000 MW of power generation from waste, 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 a huge opportunity for proven technologies to enter India, he added.