ADB to Loan ₹7.5 Billion to SAEL for 74.5 MW Biomass Energy Projects

The funding will support five biomass power projects in Rajasthan


India-based solar and agricultural waste-to-energy company SAEL Industries has signed loan agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for up to ₹7.5 billion (~$91.16 million) to promote biomass energy generation using agricultural residue.

The funding will support the construction of five 14.9 MW biomass power projects in the Bikaner, Churu, Hanumangarh, Jhunjhunu, and Sikar districts of Rajasthan.

The subsidiaries of SAEL industries managing each of these power projects – Chattargarh Renewable Energy, KTA Power, Sardarshahar Agri Energy, TNA Renewable Energy, and VCA Power — will be provided with ₹1.5 billion (~$18.23 million) each.

ADB Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public–Private Partnerships Ashok Lavasa said, “Establishing biomass power plants that can repurpose agricultural residue will help protect the environment while contributing to the government’s goal of expanding renewable energy sources and reducing carbon dioxide emissions. ADB’s assistance will have a powerful demonstration effect for biomass power by helping reduce risk perceptions and creating awareness of its benefits and potential for use in other rural communities and developing member countries.”

Biomass generation using agricultural residue is expected to reduce air pollution caused by burning vast volumes of crop stubble, stalks, husks, and straw.

The power projects are expected to convert about 650,000 tons of agricultural residues into electricity and generate 544 GWh of energy annually.

It is also expected to help raise the incomes of local farmers, women-owned micro-businesses, and ten women’s self-help groups by selling agricultural residue.

“By collecting the crop stubble to be used as fuel in our waste-to-energy plants, we help combat one of our nation’s greatest health issues while at the same time creating local employment and generating extra income for farmers and local entrepreneurs. We are happy to have ADB partnering with us in these efforts,” said SAEL Industries Chairman and Managing Director Jasbir Singh.

SAEL aims to grow its renewables portfolio to 3 GW by 2028 by adding 100 MW of new biomass and 400 MW of new solar capacity annually to its existing portfolio.

Recently, Norway’s development finance institution Norfund said it would invest about NOK 600 million (~$57.77 million) in SAEL.

ADB, which has been actively investing in renewable energy projects across Asia, inked a $40 million financing package with India-based shared electric mobility company GreenCell Express to develop 255 battery-powered electric buses.