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Development Watch – Week #4 September ’22

Development News

NHDC’s Floating Solar project in Khandwa, MP

Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation (NHDC) had invited bids in early 2022 for their Omkareshwar reservoir project in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh. It will be one of India’s largest floating solar power projects. Tata Power Solar Systems (TPSSL), a solar EPC company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Power Renewable Energy (TPREL), has received the Letter of Award (LoA) from NHDC. The 125 MWp floating solar project has a cost of Rs. 596 Crores. Currently TPSSL total order book stands at Rs. 14,908 Crores. NHDC is a joint venture of NHPC and Government of MP, while solar power will be provided to MP Power Management Company. LoA was awarded through tariff-based competitive bidding. Floating solar projects are game-changers for the renewable energy industry.

Annual cleanliness campaign for Rural India

The department of Drinking Water and Sanitation launched a fortnightly “Swachhta hi Sewa” (SHS) campaign. This would accelerate efforts towards achieving complete sanitation in Rural India. Under the campaign by the Jal Shakti Ministry, the government will organize “jan andolan” towards Open Defecation Free (ODF)-Plus villages. This entails disseminating the importance of “sampoorn swachh village”, reinforce the concept of ‘sanitation as everyone’s business’, and celebrate Swachh Bharat Diwas on October 2. States are being requested to organize activities that would involve the masses in villages.

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75 Vande Bharat trains to run by August 2023

Indian Railways aims to run 75 new Vande Bharat trains by August 15, 2023. The manufacture of these trains has been expedited, so that 7-8 trains would be ready every month. Few weeks ago, union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw inspected Vande bharat trains being manufactured at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai. After his approval, he handed them over to the R&D wing of Railway Research, Design and Standards organization (RDSO) Lucknow. The trains will be rolled out after safety clearance from RDSO. Cost of manufacturing a 16-coach Vande Bharat train has reached Rs. 110-120 Crores from 106 Crores.

Railways floats tender for 80,000 Make in India Wheels

Indian Railways has created a blueprint to become an exporter of wheels. A tender was floated to build a wheel plant that would manufacture a least 80,000 wheels a year. This is the first time the Railways has floated a tender to invite private players to build a wheel plant and make wheels for high speed trains in India. Indian Railways requires two lakh wheels per year. Steel Authority of India (SAIL) will provide one lakh wheels while rest will be made at a new “Make in India” plant. It is aimed that the plant will be exporter of wheels too, especially to markets in Europe. As per the tender, the new plant has to be set up in 18 months. India is also developing hydrogen-powered trains for 2023.

Over 90 Indian airports to be carbon-neutral by 2024

In the last few months, carbon mapping profile of all airports was done. Currently India has 141 airports, of which Kochi and Delhi are carbon-neutral. Close to 90 airports in the country will be carbon-neutral by 2024. Number of airports will rise to 220 in the next 5 years. The civil aviation ministry aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2030. By then, passenger volume is also estimated to be 400 million. Connectivity will also improve in many cities across India. Under Udaan scheme, steel city of Jamshedpur will be re-connected with Bhubaneshwar and Kolkata.

Husk Power systems to electrify 80 rural communities

Husk Power systems, operator of the largest fleet of solar-hybrid microgrids across rural Asia and Africa, will electrify 80 additional communities in India. It is availing $6 million in new debt financing from EDFI ElectriFI (EU-funded Electrificatoin Financing Initiative EDFI). EDFI has signed a microgrid debt facility to drive net-zero economic growth. The 80 solar microgrids will benefit an estimated 60,000 people and connect 10,000 new customers. New microgrids will displace significant number of diesel generators, preventing equivalent of 11,640 tons of CO2 emissions. The $6 million investment complements Husk’s largest ever local currency debt financing in the microgrid industry from India Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) announced in early 2022. Husk Power alreeady has 150 net-zero microgrids operational in India.

National Logistics Policy to boost ease of doing business

The National Logistics Policy focuses on re-engineering, digitization, and multi-modal transport. It would further boost ‘ease of doing business’ for all industries and stakeholders. It would also reduce carbon footprints and boost seamless movement of goods. The logistics policy aims to expedite last-mile delivery that would help businesses save time and money. Together with the infrastructure augmentation plan, and PM Gati Shakti, it will address gaps in the logistics sector. Draft National policy provides for a single point of reference for all logistics and trade facilitation matters.

MoUs worth Rs. 1.3 Lakh Crores in Karnataka for Renewable Energy

Karnataka state has signed memoranda of understanding worth Rs. 1.3 Lakh crores in the renewable energy space and will soon start work in the area of hydrogen fuel. Karnataka government wants to set up industries all along the Karnataka stretch of the Mumbai-Chennai corridor, and renewable energy all along the sea shore. There will be production of biofuel, solar and hydrogen. Production of ammonia from sea-water is also part of the agenda. Karnataka is also turning into a major defense and R&D hub, and will be hosting a global investors meet from November 2-4, 2022.

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