In a major move to prevent state’s farmers from burning stubble besides giving a push to the ex-situ management of stubble in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, along with Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri, on Tuesday dedicated India’s largest Bio-Energy plant, constructed at a cost of Rs 230 crore over 20 acres of land.
Describing it as a red letter day for the state, the Chief Minister said that this step will go a long way in wiping out the menace of paddy straw burning from the State. “This is the largest biofuel (Biomethane or Bio-CNG) production units in India with 33 TPD (tons per day) and 550 TPD per year of Bio-CNG capacity…This Bio-CNG project of 80,000 m³/day capacity will produce biogas by anaerobic digestion process and is a great way to solve the problem of stubble burning,” said Mann adding that the annual straw consumption in this unit will be 1.30 lakh tonnes which would help in solving the vex problem of paddy straw burning.
The Chief Minister said it will contribute to an annual reduction of 1.50 lakh Metric Ton of pollutants and 20,000 MT of fly ash currently produced due to paddy straw burning. “This unit will also give employment to 1000 youth and affect more than 5,000 families,” he said adding that the acreage of soil enriched from Biomanure will be 2,150 acres.
“The Verbio Group has evinced keen interest in setting up more such plants in the State. Once successful, the Verbio Group will set up 10 more such plants in the State. The target is to make Punjab free from the menace of paddy straw burning,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that with the intense cropping pattern of wheat and paddy, Punjab is facing the problem of disposal of crop residues, particularly the paddy straw and stubble, which have no other usage. “About 18 million ton of straw or stubble is generated every year but only five million ton is being used in biomass power plants, industrial boilers, and plywood industry. The rest of 13 million ton is being burnt by farmers in the fields as no other safe disposal techniques are available,” he said.
Mann said that in Punjab, paddy cultivation is done over 75 lakh acre of land, and “out of this, the farmers having 37 lakh acres don’t burn the paddy straw…but, some major steps need to be taken for ensuring management of the remaining 38 lakh acres”.
Sangrur plant is beginning of India’s master plan for CBG-based rural economy: Puri
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep S Puri on Tuesday said that the Compressed Bio-Gas (CBG) plant at Lehragaga in Sangrur is “just the beginning of India’s master plan for a CBG-based rural economy”. “CBG is the need of the hour, and the Central Government is taking all steps to promote the ecosystem around it,” said Puri while addressing the inaugural event of Asia’s largest Compressed BioGas (CBG) plant in Lehragaga after inaugurating it.
The CBG plant is a step in achieving objectives of the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) scheme, which was launched by Government of India in October 2018 to establish an ecosystem for production of CBG from various waste or biomass sources in the country.
The Union Minister said that the initiatives such as this CBG plants are a huge leap forward in arriving at a win-win situation for farmers and the environment. Talking about the benefits of the Sangrur CBG plant for rural economy, the Minister observed that this plant will consume 100,000 tons of paddy straw, which will be procured from six-eight satellite locations within a 10-km radius of the plant.