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If biogas potential is fully utilized, India will not need to import petroleum: Dr. A. R. Shukla, IBA

After the US and China, India is presently the third-biggest petroleum importer in the world. However, Dr. A. R. Shukla, President, Indian Biogas Association (IBA) is confident that if the biogas potential of the country is fully utilized, India would not require to import petroleum and natural gas. Click to view the full interview:

If biogas potential is fully utilized, India will not need to import petroleum: Dr. A. R. Shukla, IBA
Dr. A. R. Shukla, President, Indian Biogas Association (IBA) Image Credit: Devdiscourse

The biogas being produced by using agriculture waste in India has shown encouraging results and the experts are confident to present it as a complete replacement of petroleum products. A couple of experts working on biogas projects shared their experiences in the Waste Management Series of Summits (WMSS) 2020 in New Delhi organized on 30th and 31st January.

"We are using agriculture waste to produce biogas with 97 percent of methane which is at par with CNG in terms of calorific value," said Dr. A. R. Shukla, President, Indian Biogas Association (IBA) in an exclusive interview with Devdiscourse, a media partner of the WMSS 2020. He also emphasized that the Indian government should focus on biogas generation for sustainable vehicular fuel and to minimize its dependence on petroleum import. "Besides waste management which has become a major problem for the environment, biogas production has the potential to create jobs and save money we are expending in importing petroleum and CNG," he highlighted. Click here to see the full interview:

"In fact, minimizing petroleum import should be the strategy of the Government of India. This is because, if, during a war, our pipelines are cut even the cooking will become a huge problem for people," said Shukla. He highlighted that decentralized biogas plants are a sustainable option for cooking gas as well as a vehicular fuel. India is the 3rd largest petroleum importer of the world and is estimated to cross China in the near future to become the 2nd largest petroleum importer after the USA. In 2017-18, India imported 35.46 MT of petroleum products and 19.87 BCM of natural gas. According to estimates, India imports 82.8 percent of its crude oil and 45.3 percent for natural gas requirements.

Shukla also demanded the government to provide more incentives for setting up biogas plans in the country. "Presently, public sector petroleum companies purchase biogas under the SATAT scheme at the rate of Rs 40 per kg but this is not sufficient. We demand the government to increase it to Rs 60 per kg," he added. The initial amount required for setting up a biogas plant is about Rs 25-30 crore depending on the technology being used methodology being adopted, informed Shukla.

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