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India investing billions into compressed biogas rollout

Under the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiatives, the Government of India envisages setting up of 5 000 compressed biogas (CBG) plants by 2023-24 with a production target of 15 million tonnes, facilitating new employment opportunities and enhancing farmers' income towards invigorating the rural economy."Rs. 2 lakh crore (≈ EUR 22.6 billion) is to be invested for setting up 5000 compressed biogas in the country", said Shri Pradhan Petroleum Minister.

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To boost the availability of affordable and clean transport fuels in India, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on November 20, 2020, between the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) and leading oil and gas marketing companies (OMCs), and technology providers to establish compressed biogas (CBG) plants across India under the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) initiative (photo courtesy PIB).

In the presence of Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, MoUs were signed with energy companies JBM Group, Adani Gas, Torrent Gas, and Petronet LNG for setting up of CBG plants, and with technology providers in CBG sectors IndianOil, Praj Industries, CEID Consultants & Engineering, and Bharat Biogas Energy for facilitating the availability of technology for the projects.

We have developed a clear-cut roadmap for SATAT. I am glad to note that Indian industry players have shown immense interest in SATAT. Letter of Intent (LoI) for 600 CBG plants have already been given and with today’s signing of MoUs for 900 plants, a total of 1 500 CBG plants are at various stages of execution. Rs 30,000 Cr (≈ EUR 339.3 million) of investment is envisaged in these 900 plants. A total of 5 000 CBG plants with an approximate investment of Rs. 2 lakh crores (≈ EUR 22.6 billion) are envisaged. Biofuels have the potential to reduce our fuel import bill by Rs. 1 lakh crore (≈ EUR 11.3 billion), said Minister Pradhan at the MoU signing event for setting up 900 CBG plants.

Flagship program

Launched by the Government of India on October 1, 2028, the SATAT initiative for boosting production and availability of CBG as an alternative and affordable clean fuel for the transportation sector envisages setting up of 5 000 CBG plants by FY 2023-24. The signing of the MoUs will give a big fillip to the clean energy initiative of the Government.

SATAT will establish an ecosystem for the production of CBG from various waste and biomass sources in the country leading to multiple benefits viz. reduction of natural gas import, reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, reduction in burning of agriculture residues, remunerative income to farmers, employment generation, and effective waste management.

The Minister also thanked the Reserve Bank of India for including CBG in the priority sector lending framework. Over the last two years, SATAT has grown into one of the flagship programs of MoPNG.

The benefits out of the SATAT will go to our farmers, rural areas, and tribals. With the inclusion of forest waste, agri-waste, animal husbandry waste, and marine waste, SATAT involves a multi-pronged approach. With liberalized policy regime ensuring ease of doing business for entrepreneurs, off-take guarantee, financing, and technology support, SATAT is all set to contribute towards doubling farmer’s income, generating employment for the youth, and ensuring clean energy for sustainable development, Minister Pradhan said.

The initiative is in line with the goals of AatmaNirbhar Bharat, Swachh Bharat Mission, and boosting the MSME sector.

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