Leipzig/Chandigarh/Lehragaga, October 26, 2022 – In April 2022 VERBIO India Pvt. Ltd. started producing compressed biogas (CBG/BioCNG) from agricultural residues, primarily paddy stubble normally burnt by farmers after the paddy harvest. This is the first, largest and only plant of its kind in India, as well as in Asia. It will consume 100,000 tonnes of agricultural residues per year, and will have a production capacity of 33 TPD (tonnes per day) of BioCNG (CBG) and 650 TPD (tonnes per day) of bio-manure.
It was built over the last three years, and now supplies BioCNG into the retail network of the Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL) for automotive application in the Punjab region.
At the official Grand Opening Ceremonies held in Chandigarh and at the plant site in Lehragaga (Punjab) last week, Claus Sauter, VERBIO AG’s Founder and CEO, stated: “In India we are entering a growth market for renewable energy with very large potential.”
This facility provides:
- a significant relief in air pollution due to reduced stubble burning within a radius of at least 10 kilometres
- large savings for farmers as the entire stubble collection is conducted at no cost to them
- the creation of jobs and economic development for rural communities
- the realistic prospect of improving soil health with the introduction of bio-manure, and
- climate-friendly and cost-effective fuel for automotive, industrial and commercial consumers.
Using proven VERBIO technology that has been developed and commercialised successfully over the last 20 years, our first BioCNG unit in Asia is not only state-of-the-art but also an example that others may wish to follow as India tackles the challenges of stubble burning and supporting farmers and rural communities while implementing responsible environmental and energy policies.
This plant is the largest to be commissioned under the Indian government’s SATAT programme since its launch in October 2018, and the first to make use of paddy stubble which is otherwise burnt by farmers causing unmitigated health problems and environmental pollution. This plant not only addresses the challenges of energy security, but also represents a way to deal effectively with the environmental concerns of the region.
VERBIO AG is looking forward to expanding and building more plants around the country, particularly in the Northern States of India where there is an abundance of agricultural residues. Such investment expansion will be triggered by the establishment of a stable business case which is still in the development stage, and VERBIO AG is keen to support the dialogue with constructive policy inputs which will be extremely beneficial for the development of this sector in Punjab. VERBIO was one of the first participants in the Indian Government’s SATAT programme, and we wish to make this programme a success with even greater involvement.
VERBIO’s CEO Claus Sauter explains: “Here in particular there are currently major challenges, as the Indian government has a very strong influence in the energy market overall. We are holding constructive talks with officials at the highest government levels in order to ensure that the regulatory framework becomes more favourable to the targeted expansion of advanced biofuels in order to define the framework needed for further growth.”
VERBIO India felt highly appreciated by the participation Hon’ Union Minister Of Petroleum and Natural Gas Mr. Hardeep Puri, Chief Minister Of State Of Punjab Mr. Bhagwant Mann and Minister of New and Renewable Energy of Punjab Mr. Aman Arora at the official Grand Opening Ceremonies at Lehragaga site on October 18,2022.
In his speech the minister expressed his appreciation of VERBIO’s performance, and emphasised the importance of our technologies and investments for climate protection and regional value creation in India.
VERBIO India’s Managing Director, Ashish Kumar mentioned: “With this first of its kind of CBG project in India, VERBIO has demonstrated that the problem of stubble burning can be tamed by innovative technology. We intend to multiply this technology in Punjab and across India. We are thankful to Central and Punjab State Government for the professional and continuous support. Furthermore, we very much appreciate the excellent cooperation with from local farmers of Punjab. VERBIO truly stands for making a progressive change creating regional economic prosperity for Punjab and India.”