Adani and Reliance Group each are planning to invest 500-600 crore and set up Compressed Biogas plants in India. Led by billionaires Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, RIL and ANIL plan to enter the segment by investing Rs 500-600 crore each to set up the plants.
Let’s first understand what Compressed Natural Gas is and how it is important for India
Compressed Natural Gas
- Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a fuel gas mainly composed of methane (CH4), compressed to less than 1% of the volume it occupies at standard atmospheric pressure.
- CNG is used in traditional petrol/internal combustion engine vehicles that have been modified, or in vehicles specifically manufactured for CNG use.
- It can be used in place of petrol, diesel fuel, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Consistent surge in petrol prices has led vehicle users to shift to CNG in the country.
- Being non-corrosive, it enhances the longevity of spark plugs. Due to the absence of any lead or benzene content in CNG, the lead fouling of spark plugs, and lead or benzene pollution are eliminated.
Why Compressed Natural Gas is Important for India
- The properties of CNG make it a safe fuel. It is stored in high gauge seamless cylinders which are certified so negligible chance of leakage. It is lighter than air, so in case of leak it just rises up and disperses into the atmosphere and mixes in the air easily and evenly.
- CNG is less likely to auto-ignite on hot surfaces, since it has a high auto-ignition temperature and a narrow range of in flammability. It means that if CNG concentration in the air is below 5% or above 15%, it will not burn. This high ignition temperature and limited flammability range makes accidental ignition or combustion very unlikely.
- The operational cost of vehicles running on CNG, as compared to those running on other fuels, is comparatively low.
Biogas Plants in India
- Biogas has emerged as a promising renewable technology to convert agricultural, animal, industrial and municipal wastes into energy. Biogas development can be integrated with strategies to improve sanitation as well as reduce indoor air pollution and greenhouse gases.
- Biogas contains high methane content that can further be upgraded to natural gas quality. The upgraded biogas can be injected into a natural gas grid or used as a transport fuel.
- India’s minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, announced that an estimated 5,000 compressed biogas (CBG) plants were to be built across the country by 2023.
- The plants, extracting biogas from agricultural residue, cattle dung and municipal solid waste, will have an approximated annual capacity of 15 million tonnes.
Adani and Reliance Plots Biogas Foray
- RIL has a fuel retailing joint venture with BP called Reliance BP Mobility that operates 1,400 outlets under the Jio-BP brand. For the Adani Group, its arm Adani Total Gas operates in the CGD space.
- Uttar Pradesh being the most populated state in the country has 485 CNG stations and Maharashtra currently has 488 CNG Stations as of 2021 according to the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Gail Gas and Adani Gas are among the top companies providing CNG in the country.
- The companies plan to sell CBG and compressed natural gas (CNG) as auto fuel from their retail outlets and inject CBG in our city gas distribution (CGD) network to boost supplies to domestic and retail users, another industry executive aware of the plans told the publication.
- Sugarcane press mud, municipal waste and anaerobic agricultural waste is used to produce CBG which contains 40 percent carbon dioxide, 60 percent methane, and traces of hydrogen sulphide.
- Further, CBG can be used to produce green hydrogen as a replacement to piped natural gas for domestic use, and the bi-manure generated can be utilized as fertiliser.
- The government’s clean fuel for transportation scheme envisages 5,000 CBG plants by FY24. Adani New Industries Ltd. plans to set up 40 million tonne per annum plants in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, RIL is still deciding on unit capacities and locations.