India’s NAFED to set up 100 bio-CNG plants under public-private partnership (PPP) model

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), the apex organisation of marketing cooperatives for agricultural produce in India, plans to set up 100 bio-CNG manufacturing facilities, with an estimated investment of Rs 5,000 crore, across the country, under the public-private partnership model.

NAFED has also entered into an agreement with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd for purchase of bio-CNG from the plants at a rate of Rs 48 per kg. The first three facilities are expected to come up at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, which is the largest sugarcane producing state where waste from sugar mills is available in abundance, NAFED said.

“An agreement has already been signed with 4-5 private investors like Reliance, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and technology providers. Initially, 100 units will be set up across the country with an estimated cost of about Rs. 5,000 crore,” said a top official of NAFED. Another agreement has been signed with Indian Oil for purchase of bio-CNG from the plants at a rate of Rs. 48 per kg, the official said.

NAFED presently is in the process of mapping farm waste from sugar mills, mandis and other areas to ensure assured supply, Nafed said, adding that collection of farm waste will be done through farmer aggregators.

Already, work is in progress in setting up of first three units in Muzaffarnagar, which is expected to be completed soon, NAFED added. Each unit will have a capacity to process at least 100-300 tonnes agri-waste, from which one-tenth of the CNG will be produced.

The focus initially will be in Delhi and NCR. Gradually, the number of units will be increased in other parts of the country, he said.

NAFED is primarily engaged in procurement of notified oilseeds and pulses at minimum support price mandated by the government either under the PSS or PSF schemes. It is also into production and marketing of certified seeds, bio-fertilisers, sale of milled pulses, organic products, among others.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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