State Editions

Punjab to boost setting up of biomass plants to stop stubble burning pollution

| | Chandigarh | in Chandigarh

To rid Punjab of stubble burning pollution, the State Government has entered into agreements with four big companies and has also started work on setting up the biomass power plants.

“With the commencement of these projects in Punjab, on one hand, pollution from crop residue will decrease, and on the other, the farmers will reap economic benefit. The project commencement will also generate employment for local people,” said the state Power and Renewable Energy Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar on Monday.

He said that for this project, big companies of the country are willing to invest in the state and we have already entered into contract with four companies — Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Indian Oil Corporation, Verbio India Private Limited and Rika Biofuel Development Limited — which will produce biogas or bio CNG or bio-ethanol from the paddy straw.

Hindustan Petroleum will create bio ethanol from paddy straw which is blend in petrol and diesel. It will set up its plant in Nasibpura village of Talwandi Sabo tehsil in Bathinda district.

“The paperwork is almost complete and setting up of the plant is in progress. The company is investing around Rs 1,000 crore on this project. After operationalisation of the plant, about 500 ton paddy straw will be used every day and will daily generate 100 kilo litre of bio ethanol,” he said.

The Minister said that the Germany-based company Verbio India Private Limited has signed an MoU regarding making bio-CNG from paddy straw. “The company will set up its plant in Bhutalkalan village of Leharagga tehsil in Sangrur district, and the project has 100 percent FDI. The total cost of the project is approximately Rs 75 crores,” he said.

The Verbio plant will use 300 ton paddy stubble per day and will produce 33.23 tonne bio-CNG daily. Besides, 350 tonnes of organic manure will also be produced per day. The company has already purchased 20 acres of land for the project.

The Indian Oil Corporation had signed MoU with PEDA on January 15, 2018, under which it would set up bio CNG plant in Punjab. “In the first stage, IOC will set up approximately 42 plants in Punjab, out of which they already have identified three sites at Sangrur, Bathinda and Nabha where the plants will be set up first,” said Kangar.

He said that Rika Biofuel Development Limited signed the MoU on May 11, through Invest Punjab, which would invest Rs 700 crore in Punjab to set up biogas or bio CNG plants.

“Government is committed to free Punjab from pollution due to paddy straw burning and every possible effort is afoot for the same. Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) is serious on the issue and is working consistently in this direction,” he said.

Kangar said that currently, 20 million ton paddy straw per year is produced in the state. About 20 to 25 percent of this is being used and the rest is burnt in the fields.

He added that seven bio-mass power plants are already underway in the state but now steps have been taken in the direction of bio-CNG, bio-ethanol from paddy straw.




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