Public sector oil marketing and gas companies have shown interest in setting up compressed biogas (CBG) units in at least 10 districts in Kerala.

According to State Industries Minister P Rajeev, the foundation stone for the Kochi project, proposed by the BPCL-Kochi Refinery, is likely to be laid in January. The State Government approved the detailed project report (DPR) for the Kochi unit last week. A government order to this effect will be issued shortly.

The public sector oil company is set to float the bid for the Kochi project in a few weeks. The project may be up and running by the end of 2024, the Minister said, adding that the company has also evinced interest in setting up a CBG project in Thiruvananthapuram.

The government had held preliminary discussions with Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), which came forward to set up three CBG plants in the State, including one in Thrissur. GAIL has been asked to prepare the DPR for its Thrissur plant, he said.

The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), too, has evinced interest in setting up similar units in the State. All the public sector companies have earmarked investments worth ₹3,500 crore in the sector, he said.

The oil companies are venturing into CBG and other energy projects as part of their national mandate to produce alternative energy sources. It will be zero-investment projects for the State government as the companies will fund the projects, install equipment and run them. The State government will have to ensure regular supply of waste for the treatment plants. The civic bodies, which are struggling to manage bio-waste, will be the biggest beneficiaries of the project, he said.