The Indian Biogas Association (IBA) on Monday said it has recommended setting up testing labs in all States in the next two years to achieve the Sustainable Alternative Towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT) target, which aims to establish 5,000 compressed biogas (CBG) plants by 2025.

“The initiative will help realise the potential of biomass available in the country. Presently, we have only 3-4 labs for testing biomass and its potential for generating CBG with a state-of-the-art one established at IIT-BHU,” IBA said in a statement.

Fast tracking SATAT

So far, the Letters of Intent (LoIs) under SATAT stands at 3,500 to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), against a target of 5,000 by 2025, the association pointed out.

“The slow pace is attributed to technical challenges while running a largescale biogas plant. CBG is an ungraded form of biogas that resembles compressed natural gas,” it added.

The SATAT initiative by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoPNG) seeks to have CBG production facilities to generate 15 million tonnes, as of now, there are only 30 such facilities, and 9,019 tonnes of CBG have been sold till date through these existing plants.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) formed a committee to come up with an Indian-specific biogas standard. Currently, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is further finalising the draft with the help of industry experts, the association said.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 20675:2018 defines terms and describes classifications related to biogas production by anaerobic digestion and is in the process of consolidating them even more.