Government Mandates Blending of Compressed Biogas in CNG and PNG
The blending will be voluntary until the fiscal year 2024-2025
In a move to enhance the adoption of Compressed Biogas (CBG) and foster sustainable energy practices, the National Biofuels Coordination Committee, chaired by Union Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, announced a phased mandatory blending of CBG in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for the transport sector and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) for domestic use.
The CBG Blending Obligation (CBO) marks a crucial step toward achieving broader national objectives, including promoting circular economy principles and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The CBO will be implemented in phases, with voluntary participation until the fiscal year FY 2024-2025, followed by mandatory blending obligations from FY 2025-26.
The initial mandatory blending percentages are set at 1%, 3%, and 4% of the total CNG/PNG consumption for the fiscal years 2025-26, 2026-27, and 2027-28, respectively. From the fiscal year 2028-29 onward, the blending obligation will increase to 5%.
To ensure effective monitoring and implementation of the blending mandate, a Central Repository Body will oversee the process.
One of the key outcomes of the CBO is the anticipated boost in investment, with an estimated ₹375 billion (~$4.4 billion) expected to flow into the sector. This influx of capital is expected to facilitate the establishment of 750 CBG projects by the fiscal year 2028-29.
In a parallel initiative, promoting ethanol production from maize is also being discussed. Collaborative efforts with stakeholders, including the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD), aim to position maize as a prominent feedstock in the biofuel sector.
The ministry has taken steps to develop high-starch-yielding maize varieties, enhance maize Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS) quality by eliminating aflatoxins, expedite the registration of new seed varieties, and implement training programs for distillers in collaboration with seed companies.
In another announcement, the NBCC revealed initial indicative blending percentage targets for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF/Bio-ATF). In line with the government’s commitment to promoting biofuels, the targets are set at 1% SAF blending in 2027 (initially for international flights) and 2% SAF blending in 2028 (initially for international flights).
In June, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy allotted physical targets to the biogas program implementing agencies for establishing small biogas projects under the Biogas Program Phase II for the fiscal year 2023-24.
The Union government earlier launched the unified registration portal for GOBARdhan, intending to streamline the process of setting up compressed biogas CBG/Biogas plants in India. The portal will act as a one-stop repository for assessing investment and participation in the sector nationwide.