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Alstom Foundation launches a unique initiative to electrify rural India

22/05/2012

In its effort to showcase its commitment towards social responsibility, Alstom announced the launch of yet another groundbreaking project - ‘Dry Gasifier’ in India in collaboration with Husk Power Systems (HPS) – USA, one of the world’s lowest cost providers of biomass based renewable energy equipment. Alstom Foundation grants 90K Euros (INR 5.8 million) to Husk Power Systems for a project aimed to minimize water usage by over 80% and to save 150,000 tons of CO2 by 2014. The grant will be used for bridging funding gaps for two identified “critical success” factors that will enable HPS to become truly scalable in rural electrification business. 

A part of the grant will be used in finalizing a Dry Gasification process for low-cost manufacturing and retro-fitting these dry gasifiers at the existing 65 power plant sites of HPS in Bihar. The immediate environmental impact of a successful Dry Gasification System will result in dramatic reduction in water uses by over 80 % and will also result in reduction of operational expense. The cost benefit is then directly translated to customers who get electricity from HPS power plants.

Another part of grant will be used for developing a semi-automated machine for volume production of incense sticks and deployment of such systems at existing power plant sites.

The project will also create employment opportunities thereby increasing the local economic activities fueled by renewable energy. Part of the funding will also go into providing vocational programmes and training for women for a consistent and high quality manufacturing. This also enables HPS to scale faster and hence light more off-grid villages.

Commenting on the occasion, Sunand Sharma, Country President, Alstom India and South Asia, said, “This unique project will not only benefit the rural population of India but also contribute significantly to the cause of India’s energy goals of attaining energy security, energy access & clean power. Alstom Foundation plays a key role in initiating projects that combine economic development, social progress and environmental protection. And thanks to such programmes we at Alstom are able to reach out to different communities and at the same time also fulfill our goals.

In line with the government’s drive towards rural electrification, the objective of this initiative is to meet the energy requirements of the rural population in India by bridging the funding gaps required for rural electrification business. Presently, a total of 125,000 Indian villages lack access to reliable power. The Indian government has designated 18,000 of these villages as economically impossible to reach via conventional means. Without electricity, these villagers lack basic education, and healthcare infrastructure required in modern life which impedes their economic and social development. Thus, through this endeavor, Alstom Foundation aims to mark a new kind of cooperation with companies addressing the issue of access to electricity for all.

About Husk Power Systems USA (HPS)

Husk Power Systems USA (HPS) is working towards the rural electrification of India. The company lighted the first village from its first 100% biomass based power plant in August 2007. Today it is operating 90 decentralized mini-power plants (40 KVA each) that powers 36,000 households in 325 villages and impact lives of 200,000 people in rural parts of India. So far HPS has successfully reduced carbon footprint by 15,000 tons of CO2 which would have been emitted by burning 2.2 million litres of kerosene and approximately 900,000 litres of diesel annually.

About Alstom Foundation

Alstom has been actively involved in campaigning with local partners around the world to improve the quality of life in the local communities neighbouring its plants, sites and corporate offices. Alstom’s philanthropic arm called Alstom Foundation was set up in November 2007 that embodies environmental protection as a crucial commitment to the future of the planet. It aims to support public interest initiatives designed to protect the environment.  

About Alstom

Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 92,000 people in around 100 countries. It had sales of €20 billion and booked close to €22 billion in orders in 2011/12.

About Alstom in India

Alstom is a global leader in power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure. Present in India since 1911, Alstom has strong capabilities in engineering, manufacturing, project management and supply of products and solutions for infrastructure. With four R&D centres: Alstom Infosys R&D Centre in Bengaluru, Transport in Bengaluru, Hydro Global Technology Centre in Vadodara and Hosur for Grid, two engineering centres for Power in Noida and Kolkata and eleven manufacturing units dedicated to: Hydro in Vadodara, Boilers in Durgapur, auxiliary components in Shahabad, Steam turbines in Mundra (upcoming) and Transport at Coimbatore and SriCity (upcoming), Grid in Padappai, Pallavaram, Hosur, Vadodara and Naini, Alstom's presence cuts across the length and breadth of India. Alstom also has a Global Engineering & Software Centre for Railway & metro in Bengaluru for Transport.

 

Press Contacts

Rachana Panda (Alstom India) 
E-mail:   rachana.panda@alstom.com
Tel:        +91 120 473 2535       
Website: www.alstom.com/India