Punjab, IOC sign MoU for biogas plants to reduce stubble-burning
Chandigarh, Jan 15 (IANS) The Punjab government on Monday signed an MoU with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to set up biogas and CNG plants in the state in a bid to find sustainable solutions to straw-burning, a major environmental concern.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the IOC was signed by Punjab Bureau of Industrial Promotion and Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) in the presence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
“It will facilitate regulatory clearances and incentives by the state government and will be followed up with a separate technical cooperation MoU between the public sector undertaking and PEDA,” a state government Spokesperson said here.
The plants, to be based on a new concept and technology, will be set up with a total investment of Rs 5,000 crore, and generate employment for around 4,000 persons.
Under the project, 42 plants will become operational in 2018, probably before the paddy season.
It will be scaled up to 400 plants over the next 3-4 years, making it one of the biggest such project in the country.
It is estimated that the 400 units will consume biomass of about 10 million tonnes per annum and produce about 1,400 million kg per annum of Compressed Natural Gas and 6,000 million kg manure per annum.
By converting biomass to biogas and CNG, the plants will also create additional income for paddy farmers.
The project will create rural employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, besides providing a green organic source of compost for soil enrichment, the Spokesperson added.
Stubble-burning in agrarian states like Punjab and Haryana have led to severe environmental and health hazards in north India, especially during winter months. This is said to contribute to severe smog in Delhi and adjoining areas.