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CNG produced from sewage treatment plants generated biogas to power governments owned buses in India’s capital

According to reports, in the first such project undertaken in the country, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) will be produced from biogas generated at sewage treatment plants in the Capital. The CNG produced will be then utilised to run buses owned by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).

Delhi at present has the largest fleet of CNG-run buses in the world. The biogas produced by the sewage treatment plants has a 60 per cent concentration of methane. For CNG, it has be concentrated to up to 90 per cent.

The project, set to begin by September this year, will be carried out as a joint venture between the Swedish and Delhi governments. On Friday, Swedish experts made a final presentation before Delhi’s Environment department, including newly appointed Environment Secretary Keshav Chandra. The project has been granted an in-principle approval.

The government will get 50 per cent funding for the project from Swedish Development Corporation Agency, and will pay for the rest. “We are hoping that since it is the first ever project in India, they should pay at least 70 per cent of the amount,” said a senior official. The project is being spearheaded by the Efficiency and Renewable Energy Management Centre.

The Delhi government began talks with the Swedish government in last December, following which Swedish experts conducted a three-month study of four sewage treatment plants in Delhi — Dwarka, Keshopur, Coronation Park and Okhla. The other plants were in disrepair or were too old.

Based on the condition of the plant, the experts have finally zeroed in on the Keshopur plant. “If successful, we will replicate the project in all 17 STPs of the Capital. This will be able to meet the CNG requirement for a major chunk of the DTC fleet,” said a senior official.

One of the main criteria needed for setting up such plants is the presence of a CNG gird or filling station within accessible distance of the plant. The organic waste produced at the Keshopur vegetable market will also be used to convert the biogas into a concentrated form of CNG.

Sweden is a pioneer in the waste-to-energy sector. The project is part of the MoU signed between the Swedish government and India in 2009 for work on this sector.

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