Why energy giants like Reliance, Adani, Indian Oil are betting big on the humble biogas – Times of India

India is known to be the pioneer of biogas and in an interesting development this green fuel is seeing renewed interest from major India Inc players in the energy sector, according to an ET report. The inception of biogas dates back to 1897 when British civil engineer Charles James initiated the first biogas plant during his work on the drainage of the Homeless Leper Asylum in Matunga, Bombay. Since then, biogas has been a steadfast source of energy for Indian households, community facilities, and dairy farms.
The Indian Biogas Association projects the installation of 5,000 biogas plants by 2030, with an estimated investment of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in the sector.
India Inc. is now showing a keen interest in the humble biogas. Reliance Industries, a prominent energy conglomerate, has unveiled plans to establish 100 compressed biogas (CBG) plants, signaling a shift towards greener energy sources. Adani Total Gas, part of the Adani Group, intends to set up five CBG plants within the next five years, with further expansion on the horizon.
Furthermore, Thermax, based in Pune, has collaborated with EverEnviro Resource Management to launch Thermax Bioenergy Solutions, aiming to set up bio-CNG projects. Industry insiders reveal that EverEnviro is poised to invest nearly Rs 10,000 crore in this sector over the coming years. Their wholly owned subsidiary, Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF), has ambitious plans to establish 14 CBG plants across the nation.
Notably, oil marketing giants are not lagging behind in this sustainable energy transition. Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) have issued numerous letters of intent for the establishment of compressed biogas (CBG) plants.
CBG, a greener fuel derived from waste and biomass sources, has properties similar to compressed natural gas (CNG) and serves a variety of purposes, including automotive, industrial, and commercial applications.
So what has prompted these companies to turn their attention to biogas? Gaurav Kedia, Chairman of the Indian Biogas Association (IBA), provides insights: “It’s the technical, financial, and social aspect of biogas. The technology is now getting mature, so people can now set up large scale biogas plant.”
According to Kedia, on the financial front, there is government support and a ready market for biogas has emerged. Additionally, organic fertilizer from these plants is gaining popularity, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, which heightened health consciousness. These factors combine to make the biogas sector highly lucrative at present, he said.
As part of their efforts to integrate CBG into the city gas grid, Gail has also embraced this green fuel. In a recent development, IBA has advocated for a fair and remunerative price of organic fertilizer, also known as ‘fermented organic manure’ (FOM), set at approximately Rs 5.5 per kg. This initiative is aimed at bolstering biogas plant operations in the country.
In support of these efforts, the government has announced the Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme, with an approval of Rs 1,451 crore, dedicated to promoting organic fertilizer.

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