Address of Shri Naveen Jindal (Chief Guest) at International Summit on Waste to Energy

Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

Dr. Srikanta Kumar Panigrahi, Director General  – Carbon Minus India,

Col. Suresh Rege, CMD – Mailhem Engineers,

Shri Amulya Charan, former MD – Tata Power,

Shri Ashwin Kumar Khatri – Director General – Mission Energy Foundation.

At the outset, I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my views with the august gathering today.

India’s non-conventional energy sector has moved from the fringes to the mainstream, and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has played a significant role in its evolution in recent years. I would also like to congratulate the Mission Energy Foundation for crafting together a well-timed summit.

Setting the context

The world’s shortage of resources and ecological costs of progress and development have been well documented and articulated. Former President APJ Abdul Kalam made a stunning presentation some years ago about a waterless world in the future. Along with increasing use of resources and increasing population, there is increasing generation of waste.

Our homes, public utilities and our factories are the main creators of waste.

  • Every year, about 55 million tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) — mostly from our homes and shops — and 38 billion litres of sewage — from our toilets — are generated in urban India.
  • Industries generate around 160 million tonnes of hazardous and low hazard wastes.

This imposes a tremendous burden for handling and disposal of waste. According to TERI, close to 1400 sq kms of land will be needed for disposal of municipal solid waste by 2047 — in 2011, we used around 200 square kms. As India grows, waste will also grow.

So we are specifically gathered here today to understand what it will take for us to move waste from the liability side of the balance sheet to the asset side.

Barely scratching at the surface

Today, we are barely scratching at the surface. According to the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), more than 1700 MW of power can be generated from India’s municipal solid waste and sewage. We are actually producing around one and a half per cent of this (24 MW).

From pulp and paper factories, distilleries and food processing facilities, there is an additional potential to produce 1,300 MW of electricity; this could reach 2000 MW in another five years.

At least 6,000MW could come from the sugar industry alone. Yet till date, only around 135 MW of waste-to-energy projects have been installed in these areas.

Anecdote

Shri Naveen Jindal looks at his watch.

It is 9.10 in the morning, and we are just at the beginning of a two-day conference. There’s no better time than now to begin with a bit of inspiration.

How many of you have heard of a company called Waste Management?

This company is ranked 203 on the Fortune 500 in 2011. It generated $13.8 billion in revenue and $961 million in profit in 2011, roughly three-quarters of it by collecting and disposing of garbage.

Waste Management has invested in or acquired about 25 small companies that capture materials or energy from stuff that’s thrown away. Already the company’s waste-to-energy plants generate enough electricity to power 1.1 million homes — more than the entire solar energy industry can in the U.S.

To my mind, if we have the will, energy and passion, we can replicate Waste Management’s success in India. I’ve no doubt that if the right technology is employed with optimal processes and all components of waste are used to derive value, waste to energy could even become one of India’s sunrise sectors in the future.

Waste as input: the JSPL story

At Jindal Steel and Power Limited, whether it is for driving revenues in, or for driving costs out, we have realised over the years that it is much more profitable to be energy and resource efficient than not, and to strive for waste utilisation rather than waste disposal.

India has rich reserves of coal, but Indian coal has high ash content — so thermal power plants and steel plants in India depend heavily on imported coal. We in the company see this challenge as an opportunity. Our Odisha plant is one of the world’s first plants to use Syn Gas from the coal gasification plants as a reducing agent.

The coal gasification-DRI route is being used for the first time in India, and will help us to use, indigenously available high ash coal and save on precious foreign exchange which otherwise is drained for import of costly coking coal. Hopefully, our success will encourage others in the metals, cement and power industry, to follow suit.

We have a 360 degree approach to waste redeployment so that multiple stakeholders benefit.

We actively follow a three R’s policy — Recycle, Reduce and Reuse – to manage our waste. Solid wastes from our processes are used in our sinter plant in which 100% mill scale and flue dust generated in mills and blast furnaces are utilised. More than 500 MW power is generated from coal rejects, and middlings through CFBC boilers. Slag generated from blast furnaces is 100% reused in cement manufacturing and brick making. Also, slag from our plant is used for making roads; a captive brick plant makes fly ash bricks, which are then used to build our factories, warehouses and our homes.

In the year 1992, JSPL set up its first Waste Heat Recovery Boiler (WHRB) to generate power using waste hot gases from rotary kilns, coke ovens and blast furnaces. Currently, we are able to generate around 150 MW power using these waste gases. We have started CDM projects and are carbon foot-printing our processes. We also follow TPM for the prevention of air and water pollution.

Our consciousness towards waste management led to the development of Jindal Global Road Stabiliser (JGRS). It is an inorganic powder based soil stabiliser which can modify a wide range of soils available on site from gravel to clay, increase their bearing capacities and make them suitable for construction of pavement layers. The soil stabiliser works on the principles of hydration and keeps gaining strength as time passes.

Beyond the factory, into lives & homes

Ladies and gentlemen, being an entrepreneur and Member of Parliament, I try to modestly contribute to India’s growth and also seek to meet the needs of people in my constituency, who still lead largely rural and agrarian lives.

My contact with them has taught me that if one genuinely wants to touch lives across Bharat, our social responsibility projects have to be self-sustaining. To my mind, waste management is perhaps one of the easiest and most cost-effective way to sustain and scale development at the grassroots. So, we have set up bio-gas plants, vermin-compost plants, and plants that recycle bio-medical wastes.

We are especially proud of JSPL’s bio-methanation plant, which produces bio-gas. This plant – that has been installed with the help of BARC, Mumbai, is the only one of its kind in Chhattisgarh. Bio-degradable waste from nearby residential areas is collected, segregated and fed in this plant.

Over the years, we’ve achieved some measure of success, but I realise that much more needs to be done.

Conclusion

India is not poor, it is resource-starved. Our huge dependence on non-renewable resources is coming at a cost. We are being forced to import and consume more and more non-renewable resources every year Clearly, as industrialists, politicians, bureaucrats, NGOs and as citizens, we need to share the same vision of building a country that is able to prosper with less.

Once again, thank you for having me over.

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