State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) recently approved two joint ventures with private sector players for setting up compressed biogas (CBG) plants. The announcement is expected to provide a fillip to the Centre's plans to establish 5,000 commercial CBG plants by 2024-25 under the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transport (SATAT) scheme.
In a regulatory filing, the company said its board of directors has given the nod to environmental and sustainable solutions provider EverEnviro Resource Management Pvt Ltd and clean fuel technology company GPS Renewables Pvt Ltd. The two joint ventures will be formed with IOCL or one of its subsidiaries. In both cases, the two partners will have an equal stake of 50 per cent each.
The board's decision is subject to approvals from the NITI Aayog, and the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) among others.
Launched in 2018, SATAT aims to incentivise the production of compressed biogas from various biomass sources. However, the scheme has lagged behind targets, with the country only being able to establish 46 CBG plants so far. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas recently told stakeholders that it is on track to meet the 5,000-plant target and produce 15 million metric tonnes of CBG by 2025.
By the end of 2022-23, IOCL had commissioned 22 CBG plants, offering biogas through 46 Indigreen outlets. It said that a 200-tonnes-per-day (TPD) plant has been set up in Gorakhpur using agri-crop residue and providing an eco-friendly solution for rice straw disposal. In Hingonia, near Jaipur, a 100-TPD cattle dung-based CBG plant has been set up at the Hingonia Cattle Rehabilitation Centre.
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