Three Bio-CNG plants to be operationalized next year, gas to be used as clean fuel

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has initiated the work on setting up digesters for an integrated Bio-CNG fuel station spread over a three-acre site located in North Delhi’s Narela region in Ghogha, officials in the know said on Thursday.

The facility is expected to produce compressed natural gas (Bio-CNG) by treating 200 tons of wet waste and dairy waste a day, which will in turn be utilised as clean fuel for operating vehicles, a senior MCD official said.

“The civil work at the site is going on in full swing through the installation of two digester units, the raw material feeding into the digesters will begin in December and we will conduct the trial runs and full commissioning of the plant in March 2023,” the action taken report on the project said.

A senior MCD official overseeing the project said that the soil Investigation, design works and all statutory approvals have been received for the project and the machinery has been ordered. “In the second phase, we have initiated the civil work and the machinery is expected to be delivered by next month,” the official said.

The MoU (memorandum of understanding) for the project was signed by the erstwhile North Delhi Municipal Corporation in January this year.

“As per the agreement, the corporation is providing the land for free for this project. Of the total area (12,000 square meters), 11,000sqm will be used for setting up a biogas plant and 1,000sqm for an integrated CBG-CNG fuel station. As per project norms, the MCD will provide segregated biodegradable waste (wet waste) to the plant under the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016 and operate the entire plant,” MCD official said.

A senior MCD official explained that the expected production of various components generated after the bio-methanation process of 200 tons per day of municipal solid waste will comprise 8,000kg per day of compressed biogas, 30 tons per day of city compost, 100 KL (kilolitres) per day of wet slurry.

“The manure may be utilised by the MCD at its nursery, garden, green belt at a mutually decided cost, or the operator may be allowed to sell it in the open market after improving its quality further,” the official added. The project is conceived under the PPP mode under which the contractor will run the plant for a period of 20 years.

Indore operates one such Bio-CNG plant, which is used to supply fuel to the bus fleet of the city. On February 19 this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 550 tons per day capacity plant worth ₹150 crore at the Devguradia trenching ground. It can generate 17,000kg to 18,000kg of Bio-CNG and 10 tons of organic manure. As many as 150 city buses are being run on this Bio-CNG, which is ₹5 cheaper than commercial CNG.

Overall, Delhi’s civic body plans to operationalize three such Bio-CNG/CBG units during the next year at Ghogha with 200 tons per day capacity, a 300 tons per day facility in Okhla and 100 tons per day facility in West Delhi’s Hastsal.

“An old 200 tons per day capacity composting plant was running at Okhla, which had become dysfunctional; so it is being upgraded to a 300 tons per day Bio-CNG plant. The construction work is expected to be completed by July 2023,” an MCD official overseeing the project said.

Another official said that the smaller facility in Hastsal is expected to be operationalised by April next year. “In case of the Hastsal plant, we are facing a lot of resistance from locals who do not wish the plant to be operated at this site but we are hopeful of completing the project in 7 months,” an official said.



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