GAIL to set up 300-tonne biogas plant on Bengaluru outskirts

BBMP has been entrusted with the responsibility of supplying 300 tonnes of wet waste on a daily basis
Last Updated 02 January 2023, 00:00 IST

GAIL Gas Limited (GGL), a central public sector undertaking, has received approval from the state government to set up a compressed biogas plant on an 18-acre BBMP land at Mandur on the outskirts of Bengaluru.

While the company is expected to install and operate the facility free of charge, the BBMP has been entrusted with the responsibility of supplying 300 tonnes of wet waste on a daily basis.

On Friday, the Urban Development Department (UDD) issued the order that hopes to increase the percentage of waste the BBMP scientifically processes instead of just dumping it in the landfill. At present, the civic body processes less than 50% of the 4,500 tonnes of waste it generates daily.

As per the order that was issued on the instructions of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, the BBMP will hand over 18 acres of land to the GAIL Ltd for a period of 25 years with a guaranteed supply of organic wet waste. The plant is expected to generate 10.7 tonnes of bio CNG, around 31.39 metric tonnes of manure and 180 m3 of fermented liquid organic manure per day.

The overall project cost is estimated at Rs 65.11 crore. While GAIL will bear 40% of the project cost, the remaining 60% will be sourced through bank loan and a subsidy to the tune of Rs 8.25 crore from the central government’s waste-to-energy programme.

The plant is expected to address two key issues: produce clean natural gas which is eco-friendly and the scientific disposal of wet waste. The order copy also states that the BBMP is free to extend the supply of wet waste up to 500 tonnes in the future.

Some of the conditions mentioned in the order are as follows: The BBMP will not pay processing fee, tipping fee or loan to GAIL Ltd for providing the biogas plant. The company will share royalty from the revenue it earns from selling the product. The firm should also get an environment clearance from the authorities concerned and the land must be given back to the BBMP after 25 years.

The BBMP has been empowered to cancel the agreement with the GAIL Ltd if the company does not use the land for setting up the biogas plant or sub-leases part of it for some other purpose.

Sandhya Narayan, a member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table, a collective of active citizens and experts, hailed the move. “Any amount of processing facility is better. The BBMP needs to increase the processing capacity as quickly as possible,” she said. There are 11 bio-methanation plants in Bengaluru but none of them are functional for the last seven years.

“Efforts to revive them are yet to materialise. Ideally, each BBMP zone should have one big biogas plant,” she said.

(Published 01 January 2023, 19:08 IST)

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