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ECoR Commissions First Waste-To-Energy Plant at Mancheswar Workshop

The East Coast Railway has commissioned IR’s First Waste-to-Energy Plant at Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop. The plant, first of its kind in Indian Railways and 4th in the country, was inaugurated on Wednesday, (22nd January 2020) by Railway Board Member (Rolling Stock) Rajesh Agarwal. It is fourth such plant in the country.

The plant, commissioned three months after the foundation stone was laid, was built at a cost of Rs 1.79 crore and it has the capacity to dispose of 500 kg waste, including plastic and e-waste, an official statement said. All kinds of waste can be converted to light diesel oil which is used to light furnaces, it said.

This waste-to-energy plant, a patented technology called ‘Polycrack’, is the world’s first patented heterogeneous catalytic process which converts multiple feedstocks into hydrocarbon liquid fuels, gas, carbon and water.

Earlier, lots of non-ferrous scraps generated from the Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop had no efficient method of disposal. As a result, these elements were being disposed of by landfills, which had a hazardous impact on the environment.

The plant can be fed with all types of plastic, petroleum sludge, unsegregated MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) with moisture up to 50 per cent, e-waste, automobile fluff, organic waste including bamboo’s, garden waste and Jathropa fruit and palm bunch, the statement said.

Waste generated from the Mancheswar Carriage Repair Workshop, coaching depot and Bhubaneswar railway station will be feeder material for this plant. The process used in the plant is a closed-loop system and does not emit any hazardous pollutants into the atmosphere, the statement said.

The combustible, non-condensed gases are re-used for providing energy to the entire system and thus, the only emission comes from the combustion of gaseous fuels, it said. The emissions from the combustion are found to be much less than prescribed environmental norms, it said.

This process will produce energy in the form of light diesel oil which is used to light furnaces, it added. The first such plant in India is a small one and it was set up by Infosys at Bangalore in 2011. The second plant is located at Moti Bagh in Delhi and it has been in operation since 2014, and the third one was set up by Hindalco in 2019.

“This is the first government of India initiative in waste to energy plant of such large scale. Here world class technology has been inducted to deal with garbage disposal. We have come up with this plant within three months,” said ECoR general manager Vidya Bhushan.

The ECoR will spend around Rs 10.4 lakh per annum as operational cost. It will earn around Rs 17.5 lakh per annum from the plant.