Blockade spurs development of biogas plants

  • 34 projects completed; 80 more in pipeline
- PRAGATI SHAHI, Kathmandu

Jun 10, 2016-

The five-month long border blockade imposed by India last year  caused an acute shortage of daily essentials, including cooking gas, pushing many individuals and institutions to look for locally-sourced alternatives. 

In the blockade’s wake, 34 large biogas projects with a total installed capacity of 1,250M3, enough to replace 575 Liquefied Petroleum Gas cylinders a year, have been set up by the security agencies, commercial sector and religious institutions, according to a data of the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre.

Similarly, 80 additional plants with a total installed capacity of 11,512.5 M3 (equivalent to 25,000 LPG cylinders per year) are being developed. 

“The blockade turned into an opportunity for the government and other concerned stakeholders to recognise the need to promote the use of biogas for cooking purpose by reducing the dependency on imported fuel and LPGs,” said Prakash Aryal, programme manager of Biogas Sub Component at the AEPC.  

Security agencies like Armed Police Force, Nepal Police and Nepal Army along with several livestock farms and religious institutions have initiated the construction of large biogas plants to generate energy for cooking purpose from biodegradable wastes. Besides, the construction of institutional and commercial-scale biogas plants are also on the anvil. The AEPC has already signed agreements with seven municipalities to install large biogas plants, Aryal said. 

The government provides 60 percent subsidy on total cost of constructing a biogas plant to public institutions and 20 percent to private sector. Nepal pioneered domestic biogas technology, a clean and home-grown technology that uses dung to produce methane gas. It has been in practice for more than six decades now, particularly in rural households. 

More than 370,000 domestic biogas systems are already installed in rural households, generating around Rs 200 million annually in revenue through Clean Development Mechanism under the global climate deal. 

In the next fiscal year, the government has targeted to construct 100 institutional large biogas plants, 100 commercial biogas plants and 100,000 domestic biogas plants to become self-reliant in cooking energy. 

Published: 10-06-2016 07:54

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