GOBARdhan Initiative Soars with Over 1,200 Biogas Plants Registered Nationally

The plants are spread across 450 districts in the country


Since its launch on June 1, 2023, the unified registration portal for GOBARdhan has witnessed an influx of registrations from functional, under-construction, and yet-to-start Biogas/Compressed Biogas (CBG) plants across India.

The government said that in 60 days since its introduction, over 1,200 plants, comprising 320 CBG plants and 892 Biogas plants, have been registered on the portal. More than 100 under-construction CBG plants were registered soon after its launch.

The development spans 450 districts, encompassing a broad geographical reach.

Among these, 52 commissioned CBG plants have the capacity to process over 6,600 tons per day (TPD) of organic/agricultural residue, generating more than 300 TPD of CBG and over 2,000 TPD of Fermented Organic Manure (FOM).

These numbers are expected to surge further as the government remains committed to establishing a nurturing ecosystem for CBG/Biogas.

The GOBARdhan initiative, launched by the Union Government of India, aims to revolutionize organic waste treatment by converting it into a valuable resource through the compressed biogas (CBG) and biogas sector.

In February, the Budget 2023-24 allocated ₹100 billion (~$1.23 billion) for the GOBARdhan program.

Employing a “whole of government” approach, the initiative has shown promise in stimulating investments and achieving positive results.

With the help of policy enablers and attractive benefits, the unified registration portal for GOBARdhan has successfully garnered enthusiasm from states/UTs and CBG/Biogas operators/investors.

Policy Enablers for Growth and Success

The success of the GOBARdhan initiative can be attributed to several policy enablers and incentives introduced by the government. These include:

Market Development Assistance (MDA) Program: A program offering ₹1,500 (~$ 18.2) per ton of biogas/CBG as MDA has been framed to promote organic fertilizers, a co-product of GOBARdhan plants.

Amendment in Fertilizer Control Order: This modification simplifies the marketing process of Fermented Organic Manure (FOM)/Liquid FOM.

Exemption of Central Excise Duty: CNG, blended with CBG, is exempted from central excise duty to prevent double taxation.

Inclusion in Carbon Credit Trading: CBG has been included in the activities eligible for trading carbon credits under bilateral/cooperative approaches.

Future policies, such as fiscal support for biomass aggregation and pipeline connectivity from CBG facilities to the city gas distribution grid, are expected to increase stakeholder awareness and engagement across the value chain.

The GOBARdhan initiative aligns the interests and efforts of the government, state governments, private players, and other stakeholders. The initiative’s objective of scientifically managing organic/biodegradable waste while providing resource and monetary benefits to rural households has been a key to its success.

Image Credit: MNRE (CBG Plant in Gujarat)