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Biogas segment gets Rs 564-cr govt boost

100 biomass-based CBG plants will get financial assistance in procuring machinery

Biogas segment gets Rs 564-cr govt boost

Hyderabad: The central government has approved financial assistance worth Rs 564.75 crore to compressed biogas (CBG) producers for procurement of biogas aggregation machinery for the period between 2023-24 and 2026-27.

The objective is to facilitate biomass aggregation and marketing, preventing the burning of surplus biomass and generating extra income for farmers, official sources told Bizz Buzz.

This initiative also aims to extract economic value from untapped biomass resources and agri residue such as paddy straw by converting them into CBG and bio-manure. There is an urgent need to deploy biomass collection equipment, recognize the value in this biomass, and leverage it for production of CBG, the sources said.

This scheme aims to support biomass collection for initial 100 biomass-based CBG plants by providing financial assistance to CBG producers for procurement of biomass aggregation machinery (BAM).

Quite expectedly, the industry has welcomed the financial assistance. The scheme is poised to establish a robust biomass supply chain, said the Indian Federation of Green Energy in its press release. “The detailed guidelines will further ease the process and will also help farmers in the Rabi harvesting season.”

CBGP Forum vice-chairman Ashish Kumar said, “Agri feedstock is most important for our sector. Huge capital investment that goes into industry. With the financial assistance, half of the cost of machinery will be borne by the government. This will help the industry.”

The government hopes that the financial assistance and other measures will boost the industry. Response from the private sector has not been very enthusiastic, though. “The reason is that the policy is in the early stages. A lot of clarity is needed,” said Kumar, who is also Managing Director, Verbio India.

A steering committee will oversee the scheme. Headed by the Petroleum & Natural Gas Secretary, the committee will also comprise the Secretaries or representatives of the Ministries of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Drinking Water & Sanitation, and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

The terms of reference of the inter-ministerial steering committee will be: finalization of scheme guidelines for approval by Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister; overall direction for scheme implementation, monitoring, and review of its progress; and necessary amendment of the scheme design to overcome operational difficulties, if needed, during course of scheme implementation within the overall budget of the scheme.

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