Compressed Biogas Can Meet The Entire CNG Demand, Says Petroleum Ministry
Vehicles wait in line to be refueled with compressed natural gas at gas station in New Delhi. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)  

Compressed Biogas Can Meet The Entire CNG Demand, Says Petroleum Ministry

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A senior petroleum and natural gas ministry official on Monday said compressed biogas can meet the entire natural gas demand of the nation because if tapped fully the country generate around 62 million tonne of it.

It can be noted that the oil ministry had in Oct. 2018 launched an ambitious plan under the Satat (sustainable alternative towards affordable transportation) initiative, under which state-run oil and gas companies would invite expressions of interest from individual entrepreneurs to set up CBG plants.

The Satat initiative envisages setting up 5,000 CBG plants across the country with an estimated production of 15 million tonne CBG annually by 2023, which would be fully absorbed by the state-run companies.

If achieved the targeted 15 million tonne of CBG production that can take care of a whopping 40 percent of the current annual consumption of Compressed Natural Gas, which was 44 million tonne in FY19, according to the oil ministry.

The public sector banks tasked with the job are Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum, Gail and Indraprastha Gas.

"If CBG is exploited fully, it can produce around 62 million tonne equivalent of CBG annually which is sufficient to replace the entire gas demand of the nation," Vijay Sharma, a director at the ministry, said while addressing a road-show on Satat by these companies in nearby Navi Mumbai.

While announcing the scheme, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said that setting up CBG plants across the country will require an investment of nearly Rs 1.75 lakh crore.

The push towards green energy through CBG is in line with the government target of reducing crude imports by 10 percent by 2022, by when it had also promised the farmers to double their incomes.

The government expects this initiative to generate direct employment for 75,000 people and produce 50 million tonnes of bio-manure for crops.

CBG can be produced by processing through anaerobic decomposition of various waste/ biomass sources such as agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud and spent wash of distilleries, sewage water, municipal solid waste, biodegradable fractions of industrial waste etc, and since it has properties similar to CNG, thus it can be used as green fuel in automotive, industrial and commercial sectors along with CNG.

Sharma said wider introduction of CBG into the transport segment has multiple benefits like waste management, cutting carbon emissions, and additional revenue source to farmers etc.

He also said if tapped fully CBG can make the farmers move from being 'annadata to urjadata' and contribute to the brown revolution in the energy sector.

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