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Oil companies reach out to entrepreneurs for sustainable fuel

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Companies invite expressions of interest at Vashi roadshow in attempt to promote use of biofuels like CBG

With a vision to reduce the oil import dependency of India, oil marketing companies (OMCs) invited invited expressions of interest (EoIs) from various gas manufacturers and potential entrepreneurs at a roadshow in Vashi on Monday.

The EoIs were invited under Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT), a scheme launched by the the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on October 1, 2018, to promote the use of biofuels such as Compressed Bio Gas (CBG). SATAT aims at marketing of CBG from 5,000 plants by March 2023-24 and an estimated production of 15 MMT per annum.

EoIs were invited from entrepreneurs willing to set up CBG plants and offer them to the OMCs for marketing through their retail outlets. Oil and gas marketing companies Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, GAIL (India) Limited and Indraprastha Gas Limited invioted the EoIs.

Under this initiative, OMCs, GAIL and IGL are offering remunerative prices for procurement of CBG with long-term commercial agreement for entrepreneurs, said Milind Patke, ED, BPCL (Biofuels). “We are assuring entrepreneurs that we will purchase CBG for the next 10 years. We are expecting that petrol pumps would be able to purchase CBG at ₹46 plus GST. The biggest advantage of CBG is that it benefits the environment and the waste is being utilised gainfully. While CNG has more than 85% methane content, CBG will have more than 90%,” Mr Patke said. OMCs have been conducting the ‘Road Show’ across country in various States.

CBG, he explained, is purified and compressed biogas, which is produced through a process of anaerobic decomposition from various waste and biomass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud and the waste from distilleries, sewage water, municipal solid waste, besides biodegradable fractions of industrial waste. CBG has properties similar to CNG, and can be used as green fuel in automotive, industrial and commercial sectors along with CNG.

Vijay Sharma, Director, of Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, who was the chief guest at the event, said, “introducing CBG in the transport sector has multiple benefits such as waste management, reduction in carbon emissions, and additional revenue source for farmers by creating waste to wealth, and giving a boost to entrepreneurship and the rural economy by way of generating employment opportunities.” Mr. Sharma said promoting CBG in the transport sector would strengthen the Indian economy against the shocks of fluctuating crude oil and gas prices.

If the total potential of CBG is exploited in the country, India can produce an equivalent of approximately 62 MMT of CBG annually, which is sufficient to replace the entire gas demand of the nation and make farmers go from being annadata (grain providers) to urjadata (energy providers) and contribute to a brown revolution for energy, said Mr. Sharma.

Various technology providers present at the event showcased their CBG production technologies and entrepreneurs wanting to start new plants for production connected with them. A spokesperson for Ciro, said, “We currently manufacture LED lights but are planning to venture into producing CBG as well.”

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 2:56:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/oil-companies-reach-out-to-entrepreneurs-for-sustainable-fuel/article30398721.ece

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