Funding Opportunities

The primary challenge for the developers of waste to energy plants is to use a commercially proven technology for the process of the waste should this be municipal solid waste, waste plastics, scrap tyres, wood waste and or traditional biomass plants using wood pellets. Once the technology has a track record we can work with the developer to secure insurance wraps over the technology and its performance thus securing the incomes that we require to satisfy our criteria. We have also been offered bank guarantees via Import/Export type armaments that would satisfy our secured income requirements should the tech not be as proven as we would prefer.

Our preferred option is to buy early operational plants and own the plants outright with the asset being managed by an investment grade O&M Contractor on our behalf. We can consider plants that are ready to build and can provide 100% of the funds required and then take ownership once the plant is operational. In certain circumstance we will fund the construction of an asset and then jointly own an asset with the project developer subject to the financial returns being strong enough to support this type of structure.

Project Financing for Solid Waste-To-Energy, Pyrolysis, Gasification & Material Recovery Projects

There is a renewed interest in waste-to-energy throughout the world, but such projects have unique and stringent financing requirements. Many budding developers, particularly those from a wind, solar or real estate background, underestimate the operating and technological risk, and seek financing on conventional terms. About half the projects we see cannot be financed on any terms.

  • Waste to energy and recycling projects have a high failure rate. This has an enormous influence on the reception by lenders and third-party equity providers.
  • A technology provider is not enough. The project needs an EPC with the financial capacity to offer performance guarantees. The operator must be able to demonstrate ongoing operating capability.
  • A technology is “proven” when it can operate on a commercial scale. Feasibility studies and white papers have no value in the financing market. Pilot plants offer some validation, but are not proof of concept. They too frequently fail at scale up.
  • Most conventional project finance is real estate or asset-based, which offers a high investment recovery rate if the project should fail. Waste-to-energy projects have little or no marketable assets or real estate. A failed project is virtually a complete write-off.
  • Generally speaking, lenders are not comfortable with waste to energy on a project finance basis. Smaller lenders do not understand them; larger lenders understand them, but are only interested in larger (greater than $50-$75 million) projects from larger clients with established or desirable relationships.
  • Highly leveraged projects, in the current market, are a myth. We are frequently contacted by budding developers seeking high leveraged loans, and investment tax credits for the entire equity contribution. And unfortunately, some investment banks promote such nonsense.
  • Eligibility for tax-exempt bond financing does not alter the loan underwriting criteria. Mutual funds and bond investors are not dumb money.
  • We have seen a number of investment banks issuing term sheets for such projects. Investment banks are financial intermediaries. A term sheet from an intermediary is not only useless, it is deceitful. Only a term sheet from a direct lending or equity source that has the actual capability to write a check, has relevance.
  • Many private equity firms in alternative energy state that they are interested in waste-to-energy; but what they really want is wind and solar, which they (think) they understand and is considered risk-free. Few financial investors understand the technology and operating risks behind WTE, and are ultimately willing to close.
  • Developers must generally have their own early stage pre-development money.
  • Viable projects require long-term feedstock and off take agreements. Merchant facilities are exponentially more difficult to finance.
  • Unlevered project IRR of high teens to mid-twenties is necessary to attract private equity.
  • While investment tax credits are generally available for larger wind and solar projects, waste-to-energy is often considered too risky. Investment tax credit providers want equity returns with debt security. Their terms and conditions often conflict with and are incompatible with debt.
  • objective
  • To promote setting up of projects for recovery of energy in the form of Biogas / BioCNG / Power from Urban, Industrial and Agricultural Waste and Captive Power and Thermal use through Gasification in Industries
  • To promote setting up of projects for recovery of energy from Municipal Solid Waste
    (MSW) for feeding power into the grid and for meeting captive power, thermal and
    vehicular fuel requirements.
  • To promote Biomass Gasifier for feeding power into the grid or meeting captive power
    and thermal needs of rice mills/other industries and villages
  • Period
Extension of Scheme till 31st March 2021 or till the date the recommendations of 15th FC come into effect.
Salient Features
  • Central Financial Assistance in the form of back-ended subsidy is provided for installation of Waste to Energy projects for recovery of energy in the form of Biogas or BioCNG or Power from Urban, Industrial, Agricultural Waste / Residues and Municipal Solid Waste.
  • Financial assistance available under the Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial and Agricultural Wastes/ Residues for setting up Waste to Energy plant is as follows:
  • Biogas generation                 :  Rs 1.0 crore per 12000cum/day ;
  • BioCNG generation (including setting of Biogas plant) : Rs 4.0 Crore per 4800Kg/day;
  • Power generation based on Biogas (including setting of Biogas plant): Rs 3.0 Crore per MW.
  • Power generation based MSW: Rs 5.0 Crore per MW.
  • Biomass Gasifier:

o    Rs. 2,500 per kWe with duel fuel engines  for electrical application

o    Rs. 15,000 per kWe with 100% gas engines for electrical application

o    Rs. 2 lakh per 300 kWth for thermal applications.

  • Incentives to SNAs @ Rs.1% of the eligible CFA (incentive maximum of Rs.5.00 lakh per project)
  • All proposals to be forwarded through Lead bank/ FIs.
  • CFA to be back-ended.
  • CFA for Expansionary Projects will be considered only for the latest capacity addition.
  • Prior Sanction will be required for grant of CFA. Claims of non-commissioned projects only are considered.
  • Projects which have availed loan will only be considered for grant of CFA (exempted for Govt. entities).
  • CFA will be released to the loan account maintained with the Lead FI.
  • Project Advisory Committee (PAC) to evaluate all proposals.
  • Performance inspection to be done by concerned SNAs.
  • Periodic monitoring of the projects to be carried out by a team comprising representatives from Utilities, SNAs, experts appointed by MNRE and Ministry officials.
How to avail the financial assistance
  • The developers seeking Government support for their projects will submit proposals to Ministry through Bank/Financial Institutions (on BIOURJA portal:
  • A Project Advisory Committee (PAC) for Waste to Energy projects constituted with the approval of Secretary, MNRE under the Chairmanship of Joint Secretary (In-charge), MNRE. PAC will evaluate and recommend the project proposals for financial support.
  • The Ministry would issue sanction with the concurrence of IFD and approval of Secretary, MNRE. Based on this sanction/approval the developer can complete their projects as per guidelines of the scheme. The time period for completion of the project is 24 months/36months as applicable.
  • The entire CFA will be released to the developer’s loan account in the lending financial institution/banks for the purpose of offsetting the loan amount only after successful commissioning of the project.
  • The condition of successful commissioning of the Waste to Energy project would, inter-alia, imply operation of the project for three months, including continuous operation for at least 72 hours at minimum of 80% of rated capacity/60% of rated capacity as applicable.
Whom to contact Deputy Secretary/Director, Waste to Energy Division (Aseem Kumar, Director)
Relevant Document Submission of applications for availing CFA/registration of projects under Waste to Energy programme through BIOURJA portal: (23-09-2020)

Continuation/Extension of Waste to Energy programme namely “Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial, Agricultural Wastes/ Residues and Municipal Solid Waste (2019-20)” dated 28.02.2020 till 31st March 2021 or till the date the recommendations of 15th FC come into effect (17-06-2020)

REVISED GUIDELINES OF WASTE-TO-ENERGY PROGRAMME  (Programme on Energy from Urban, Industrial, Agricultural Wastes/ Residues and Municipal Solid Waste)(28-02-2020)