Kiln Owners Unhappy With Order On Blending Biomass Pellets & Coal, ET RealEstate

October 20, 2023

<p>File Photo</p>
File Photo

PATIALA: The Punjab government’s recommendation to brick kilns to use biomass pellets made made from paddy stubble as an additive to coal used for baking bricks has left many owners of such units unhappy.

Last year, the government directed brick kilns to blend biomass pellets in coal in such a way that the pellets make up for 20% of the mix. However, kiln owners have suggest that they be allowed to use the pellets as mud fuel and an upper price cap be imposed on the pellets.

On Tuesday, during a visit to his native village in Sangrur, CM Bhagwant Mann said they had already issued the notification on using paddy straw briquettes as fuel in 2,500 brick kilns of Punjab. “As compared to last year, 23,000 more paddy straw management machines have been given to farmers. Officers have been directed to ensure strict monitoring to check straw burning,” he had said.

The blending was proposed by PPCB after trials by Punjab State Council for Science and Technology showed promising results. The blending was found to be economically viable for the industry. Punjab Brick Kiln Owners Association general secretary Lakhbir Singh said the blend’s price came to be the same as that of coal.

“The calorific value of coal is twice that of pellets. We are ready to contribute to save our environment, but pellet use is unviable. Already, 70% brick kilns are running in losses. Their number has declined from 2,700 brick in 2020 to 1,800 in 2023 in Punjab. Also, there’s no check on inflow of bricks from Rajasthan, where the industry is using banned fuel like carbon,” he said.

PPCB chief A P Vig said the kiln owners had given a positive response to the government’s suggestion in the past.

  • Published On Oct 20, 2023 at 03:00 PM IST

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