Indian Oil plans to procure biogas, sell it at retail outlet

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Published: August 30, 2019 4:34:44 AM

The gas procured will be sold through fuel retail outlets or separate CBG stations at the retail outlets not only to the domestic customers but also to the industrial customers.

Indian Oil, biogas, IOC retail outlets,  PSU oil marketing companies, gail, fossil fuel, aluminum batteries The government plans to set up around 5,000 compressed biogas plants by 2022, producing 15 million tonne or 40% of India’s current annual consumption of compressed natural gas of 44 million tonne.

IOC plans giving a big boost to the compressed biogas business by procuring biogas from across India and selling it at its retail outlets, as part of India’s strategy to reduce dependence on imported fuel and double farm income by 2022. Biogas, produced naturally through anaerobic decomposition from waste or biomass sources like agriculture residue, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud and solid waste, also provides an additional source of income to farmers.
The company has already issued 200 letters of intent (LoIs) out of 250 issued by all PSUs put together for supply of gas in 250 kg cascades at a price of `48/kg for a distance of 50 km. “We are open to sourcing of gas and any interested party can approach us for supply of biogas,” IOC’s CMD Sanjiv Singh said.

“It is a very competitive price and the sellers will not have to bother about supply, marketing and distribution of the gas, which will help them to set up their facilities. We will pick up any amount of gas from anywhere in India. Just that they have to adhere to BIS standard of maintaining the methane and carbon dioxide levels at 90% and less than 4% respectively,” Singh said.

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The gas procured will be sold through fuel retail outlets or separate CBG stations at the retail outlets not only to the domestic customers but also to the industrial customers. “We will also give the industrial customers the comfort of alternative fuels like petrol and diesel in the absence of biogas if they want,” Singh said.

The companies also plan to integrate compressed biogas networks with city gas distribution networks to boost supplies to domestic and retail users in existing and upcoming markets. This scheme was initiated by PSU oil marketing companies and GAIL as an alternative source of fuel to reduce India’s dependence on imported fossil fuel by 10% by 2022, and help double farm income.

The government plans to set up around 5,000 compressed biogas plants by 2022, producing 15 million tonne or 40% of India’s current annual consumption of compressed natural gas of 44 million tonne. The company is also planning to start manufacturing of non-lithium ion-based batteries catering to electric vehicles. “We are in advance stages of discussions and will soon announce our plans. The aim and objective is to create batteries that are made from raw materials that are available in abundance in the country,” Singh said.

The company is likely to make batteries from aluminium — aluminium ion batteries, which are cost-wise cheaper and much lighter than lithium ion batteries, said another official on conditions of anonymity.

According to experts, aluminum possesses a higher volumetric capacity than lithium, potassium, magnesium and sodium due to its high density and ability to exchange three electrons compared to one by others. This means that the energy stored in aluminum batteries on a per-volume basis is higher than that in other metal-based batteries. Hence, aluminum batteries are expected to be smaller in size. The first few facilities are likely to come up in Chennai, Pune, Delhi and Mumbai, catering to auto hubs and large flow of vehicles, the official added.

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