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July 23, 2006

Garbage to energy: Making it in Malaysia

Businessworld has an article on how Siva Prasad, after having failed four times to start up a waste-to-energy venture in India, is now executing his plans in Malaysia.
Prasad does not have happy memories of his attempts at implementing his WTE process in India during the mid 1990s. His first attempt in India was backed by the Technology Development & Information Corporation of India (TDICI), now known as ICICI Venture, and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA). But the Bangalore municipality refused to allot land on a dumpsite due to air pollution concerns. Thereafter, Prasad found a sponsor who persuaded the Chennai municipality to allot land in the Perugudi dumpsite and Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) to part-fund the project. But the sponsor himself backed out at the last minute. Next, a lottery company in Delhi decided to gamble on this idea and even got land allotment at dumpsite and finalised a power purchase agreement with the Delhi Electricity Supply Undertaking. But a reversal in the core business made the lottery tycoon ditch the project. Prasad’s final attempt went down the river, literally. Ucal Power Systems was building a pla nt using Prasad’s process on the riverside in Vijayawada but a flood destroyed the plant.


Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence India, which tracks venture capital activity in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.