Punjab promotes bioCNG plants to tackle paddy straw burning challenge

The Government of Punjab will facilitate identification of land parcels in various locations of the state for setting up the 10 bioCNG plants by the UK based company, Rika which has committed 100-150 million USD for the purpose

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New Delhi: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 11th May between State government of Punjab’s Punjab Bureau of Industrial Promotion (PBIP) and Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), and UK’s Rika Biofuels Development Ltd as part of the state’s efforts to find sustainable solutions to paddy straw burning, which has become a major environmental concern.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Punjab Finance Minister, Manpreet Singh Badal and Deputy High Commissioner at British High Commission, Chandigarh.

Rika plans to build in excess of 10 Bio CNG plants with a total investment of 100-150 million USD, creating up to 1,000 jobs across the whole operation and supply chain with the aim of having the first plant operational in 2019.

The Government of Punjab will facilitate identification of land parcels in various locations of the state for setting up the plants, and also ensure incentives and benefits as applicable for such plants under the State Industrial and Business Development Policy-2017 and the State NRSE Policy-2012.

The capacity of each plant will be around 100 metric ton of paddy straw intake daily and these projects would promote sustainable agriculture practices by stopping burning which severely damages the soil.

Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) will facilitate regulatory clearances and incentives by the state government and these plants will be based on a new patented anaerobic digester concept and straw extruding technology.

The digestate/bio manure, which is rich in organic and inorganic matter, gives a perfect mix of nutrients that promotes long-term soil health and improves agricultural yield.

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