Country’s first waste fuel plant inaugurated in Meghalaya
The country’s first-of-its-kind waste-to-fuel pilot project was inaugurated in Meghalaya on Tuesday.
The 35-metric tonne pilot plant, situated at the landfill site at Rongkhon Songital in Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills, is a collaboration between the government of Meghalaya, Tura Municipal Board and Chamhana GW of South Korea.
The Tura project was envisioned as a working model demonstration (proof of concept), to manage the daily incoming municipal garbage of Tura town and its adjoining areas, estimated to be between 30 to 35 metric tonnes.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K. Sangma, along with the ambassador of South Korea to India Chang Jae-Bok, on Tuesday inaugurated the pilot waste-to-energy plant, which will convert all waste except recyclables like metals, glass wood and e-waste, construction waste, into fuel briquettes that can then be used as a replacement for coal and charcoal.
Sangma said he was “delighted" to inaugurate India’s first pilot project Chamhana GW-Refuse Derived Fuel Plant at Tura.
“When I visited this site (landfill) I really wanted to do something and I didn’t know what and how but I knew that we needed to reverse this entire process of dumping the garbage here to making this place green again and more importantly finding a way… a technology that could enable us to ensure that the future waste that we generate could be put to a lot of things,” Sangma said.
The chief minister also said the entire concept of turning waste to energy will completely redefine people’s perception of waste and garbage disposal.
The project was conceptualised way back in 2019 but due to the pandemic it had to be put on hold.
Similar plants will be set up in other parts of the state depending on the success of the pilot project, Sangma said.
Naba Bhattacharjee, technical adviser to the chief minister and project coordinator, told The Telegraph that the PPP project has been set up at no cost to the government but the South Korean company will be allowed to market the fuel generated from the plant.
“Chamhana is a pioneer in producing fuel from waste water and plastics. The fuel can reduce the use of coal in cement and brick factories,” he said.
Chang Jae-Bok, who is on his maiden visit to Meghalaya, said the pilot project is a win-win for all and the beginning of many meaningful and mutually beneficial collaborations that Korea and India could have in the field of technology that has the potential to greatly enhance the quality of people’s lives.
“Our (Republic of Korea) Embassy in New Delhi will make our effort to further develop this kind of mutually beneficial projects and cooperation in the future,” he said.