Petroleum Minister to launch SATAT initiative to promote compressed biogas as alternative fuel

Sep 29, 2018 10:30 IST
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The Union Petroleum Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan will launch the Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative in New Delhi on October 1, 2018, on the penultimate day of the ongoing Swachhta Hi Seva campaign.

The Minister will launch the initiative with the PSU Oil Marketing Companies, inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) from potential entrepreneurs to set up Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) production plants and make available the biogas in the market for use in automotive fuels.

Objective

The SATAT initiative is aimed at providing a sustainable alternative towards affordable transportation as a developmental effort that would benefit vehicle-users as well as farmers and entrepreneurs.

Key Benefits of the SATAT Initiative

The move is expected to boost the availability of more affordable transport fuels and enable better use of agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste.

It is expected to pave the way for efficient municipal solid waste management and help in tackling the problem of polluted urban air due to farm stubble-burning and carbon emissions.

It will boost entrepreneurship, rural economy and employment and provide an additional source of revenue to farmers.

It will also help achieve the nation’s climate change goals and bring down the dependency on natural gas and crude oil imports and act as a buffer against crude oil and gas price fluctuations.

The Compressed Bio-Gas networks can be integrated with city gas distribution (CGD) networks to boost supplies to domestic and retail users in existing and upcoming markets.

Besides retailing from OMC fuel stations, Compressed Bio-Gas can at a later date be injected into CGD pipelines too for efficient distribution and optimised access of a cleaner and more affordable fuel.

How is Compressed Biogas produced?

The Bio-gas is produced naturally through a process of anaerobic decomposition from waste and biomass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, municipal solid waste and sewage treatment plant waste.

 After purification, it is compressed and called CBG, which has pure methane content of over 95 per cent.

The other waste streams including rotten potatoes from cold storages, rotten vegetables, dairy plants, chicken and poultry litter, food waste, horticulture waste, forestry residues and treated organic waste from industrial effluent treatment plants (ETPs) can also be used to generate biogas.

 

Compressed Biogas plants

The plants are proposed to be set up mainly through independent entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs would be able to separately market the other by-products from these plants, including bio-manure and carbon-dioxide to enhance returns on investment.

The CBG produced at these plants will be transported through cylinders to the fuel station networks of OMCs for marketing as a green transport fuel alternative.

It is planned to roll out 5,000 Compressed Bio-Gas plants across India in a phased manner, with 250 plants by the year 2020, 1000 plants by 2022 and 5000 plants by 2025.

These plants are expected to produce 15 million tonnes of CBG per annum, which is about 40 per cent of current CNG consumption of 44 million tonnes per annum in the country.

At an investment of approx. Rs 1.7 lakh crore, this initiative is expected to generate direct employment for 75,000 people and produce 50 million tonnes of bio-manure for crops.

 

Background

The Compressed Bio-Gas is exactly similar to the commercially available natural gas (CNG) in its composition and energy potential. Hence, it can be used as an alternative, renewable automotive fuel.

The potential for Compressed Bio-Gas production from various sources in India is estimated at about 62 million tonnes per annum.

The 1,500-strong CNG stations network in the country currently serve about 32 lakh gas-based vehicles.

The Working Group on Biofuels, set up under the National Policy on Biofuels  2018, is in the process of finalising a pan-India pricing model for Compressed Bio-Gas.

The National Policy on Biofuels 2018 emphasises on active promotion of advanced biofuels, including CBG.

The Union Government had launched the GOBAR-DHAN (Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources) scheme earlier this year to convert cattle dung and solid waste in farms to CBG and compost. The scheme proposes to cover 700 projects across the country in 2018-19.

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