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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 24 (IANS) A path-breaking initiative by the Kochi-headquartered Coir Board has proved that electricity can be generated from the spongy coir pith.
The successful experiment by the Coir Board's research and development wing has prompted the organisation to set up a 10 MW power generation project in Thiruvananthapuram district - a first in the country.
Till now, coir pith was considered waste and used for nothing more than filling low-lying lands.
"We are in talks with a Mumbai-based firm to set up a 10 MW plant that would produce power using coir pith," G. Balachandran, chairman of the Coir Board, said Sunday.
The proposed unit will be set up with an estimated investment of Rs.50 crore, he added. Power will be generated after removing moisture from the coir pith.
"The Mumbai firm has got patent rights for the special drier," said Balachandran.
For continuous availability of raw material for the power unit, the Coir Board is launching a Kerala-level programme to guarantee scientific procurement of coconut husk.
Currently, only 30 per cent of the husk is being converted into coir.
"Tractors of the Coir Board will take rounds of houses and farms that grow coconut trees and collect the husk," said Balachandran.
Kerala depends heavily on Tamil Nadu for coir industry husks.