ADB’s massive loan to SAEL for agriculture waste management

Representational Photo by Olli Kilpi on Unsplash

SAEL Industries on Friday said it has signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a loan of up to Rs 754 crore to promote agricultural waste-to-energy plants in India.

Each year farmers in Northern India burn crop stubble in their fields to remove paddy residue, resulting in severe air pollution with devastating health effects in the region.

SAEL Industries has developed a business model where crop residues are used as fuel in waste-to-energy projects. It plans to grow its portfolio to 3.5 gigawatts (GW) over the next four years by adding 100 megawatts (MW) of new biomass and 600 MW of new solar capacity annually, it said in a statement.

ADB’s support will fund the construction of five biomass power plants in the districts of Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Jhunjhunu, and Sikar in Rajasthan, reports The Hindu Businessline.

The power plants will convert about 650,000 tonnes of agricultural residues into electricity and are expected to generate 544 gigawatt-hours of energy per annum, helping avoid up to 487,200 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The income of local farmers will also rise through the sale of agricultural residue.

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